Ethanol sensitivity and tolerance in long-term memory mutants of Drosophila melanogaster

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 May;32(5):895-908. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2008.00659.x.


Background: It has become increasingly clear that molecular and neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory and drug addiction are largely shared. To confirm and extend these findings, we analyzed ethanol-responsive behaviors of a collection of Drosophila long-term memory mutants.

Methods: For each mutant, sensitivity to the acute uncoordinating effects of ethanol was quantified using the inebriometer. Additionally, 2 distinct forms of ethanol tolerance were measured: rapid tolerance, which develops in response to a single brief exposure to a high concentration of ethanol vapor; and chronic tolerance, which develops following a sustained low-level exposure.

Results: Several mutants were identified with altered sensitivity, rapid or chronic tolerance, while a number of mutants exhibited multiple defects.

Conclusions: The corresponding genes in these mutants represent areas of potential overlap between learning and memory and behavioral responses to alcohol. These genes also define components shared between different ethanol behavioral responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / drug effects*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drug Tolerance / genetics
  • Ethanol / pharmacokinetics
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Learning / drug effects*
  • Memory / drug effects*


  • Ethanol