Tetracycline derivatives reduce binge alcohol consumption in High Drinking in the Dark mice

John C. Crabbe, Angela R. Ozburn, Robert J. Hitzemann, Stephanie E. Spence, Wyatt R. Hack, Jason P. Schlumbohm, Pamela Metten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are prevalent, and are characterized by binge-like drinking, defined by patterns of focused drinking where dosages ingested in 2–4 ​h reach intoxicating blood alcohol levels (BALs). Current medications are few and compliance with the relatively rare prescribed usage is low. Hence, novel and more effective medications are needed. We developed a mouse model of genetic risk for binge drinking (HDID: High Drinking in the Dark mice) by selectively breeding for high BALs after binge drinking. A transcriptional analysis of HDID brain tissue with RNA-Seq implicated neuroinflammatory mechanisms, and, more specifically extracellular matrix genes, including those encoding matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Prior experiments from other groups have shown that the tetracycline derivatives doxycycline, minocycline, and tigecycline, reduce binge drinking in inbred C57BL/6J mice. We tested these three compounds in female and male HDID mice and found that all three reduced DID and BAL. They had drug-specific effects on intake of water or saccharin in the DID assay. Thus, our results show that the effectiveness of synthetic tetracycline derivatives as potential therapeutic agents for AUDs is not limited to the single C57BL/6J genotype previously targeted, but extends to a mouse model of a population at high risk for AUDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100061
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity - Health
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Binge drinking
  • Drinking in the dark
  • Ethanol
  • Selective breeding
  • Tetracyclines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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