Transgenic over expression of nicotinic receptor alpha 5, alpha 3, and beta 4 subunit genes reduces ethanol intake in mice

Xavier Gallego, Jessica Ruiz-Medina, Olga Valverde, Susanna Molas, Noemí Robles, Josefa Sabrià, John C. Crabbe, Mara Dierssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Abuse of alcohol and smoking are extensively co-morbid. Some studies suggest partial commonality of action of alcohol and nicotine mediated through nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We tested mice with transgenic over expression of the alpha 5, alpha 3, beta 4 receptor subunit genes, which lie in a cluster on human chromosome 15, that were previously shown to have increased nicotine self-administration, for several responses to ethanol. Transgenic and wild-type mice did not differ in sensitivity to several acute behavioral responses to ethanol. However, transgenic mice drank less ethanol than wild-type in a two-bottle (ethanol vs. water) preference test. These results suggest a complex role for this receptor subunit gene cluster in the modulation of ethanol's as well as nicotine's effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-215
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2012



  • Dependence
  • Ethanol
  • NAChR subunits
  • Nicotine
  • Preference drinking
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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