Hybrid C57BL/6J x FVB/NJ mice drink more alcohol than do C57BL/6J mice

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2005 Nov;29(11):1949-58. doi: 10.1097/01.alc.0000187605.91468.17.


Background: From several recent strain surveys (28 strains: Bachmanov et al., personal communication; 22 strains: Finn et al., unpublished), and from data in >100 other published studies of 24-hr two-bottle ethanol preference, it is known that male C57BL/6 (B6) mice self-administer about 10-14 g/kg/day and that female B6 mice self-administer about 12-18 g/kg/day. No strain has been found to consume more ethanol than B6. In one of our laboratories (Texas), we noted a markedly greater intake of ethanol in an F1 hybrid of B6 and FVB/NJ (FVB) mice.

Methods: To confirm and extend this finding, we repeated the study at another site (Portland) using concentrations up to 30% ethanol and also tested B6xFVB F1 mice in restricted access drinking procedures that produce high levels of alcohol intake.

Results: At both sites, we found that B6xFVB F1 mice self-administered high levels of ethanol during two-bottle preference tests (females averaging from 20 to 35 g/kg/day, males 7-25 g/kg/day, depending on concentration). F1 hybrids of both sexes drank significantly more 20% ethanol than both the B6 and FVB strains. Female F1 hybrids also drank more 30% ethanol. In the restricted access tests, ethanol consumption in the F1 hybrids was equivalent to that in B6 mice.

Conclusions: These data show that this new genetic model has some significant advantages when compared to existing inbred strains, and could be used to explore the genetic basis of high ethanol drinking in mice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Hybridization, Genetic / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Models, Genetic
  • Self Administration
  • Sex Factors
  • Species Specificity


  • Ethanol