Age- and sex-related differences in the acquisition and reinstatement of ethanol CPP in mice

Neurotoxicol Teratol. Jan-Feb 2012;34(1):108-15. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Aug 4.


Many people begin to experiment with alcohol during adolescence, an important developmental period during which sex differences in the effects of ethanol appear. In the present study we evaluated the effect of ethanol (0, 0.625, 1.25 or 2.5 g/kg) on the acquisition of a conditioned place preference (CPP) in early and late adolescent male and female mice. In addition, we assessed the capacity of ethanol to induce reinstatement of the CPP after its extinction. CPP was induced in early and late adolescent females with 2.5 g/kg, and in early adolescent males with 1.25 or 2.5 g/kg of ethanol. No CPP was observed in late adolescent males. Priming with ethanol reinstated the CPP induced by the highest dose in early adolescent male and early and late adolescent female mice. Our data suggest that early adolescents of both sex and late adolescent females are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ethanol.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol-Induced Disorders, Nervous System / etiology*
  • Alcoholism / etiology*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Outbred Strains
  • Causality
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / blood
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / toxicity
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ethanol / blood
  • Ethanol / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Learning Disabilities / etiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Repetition Priming / drug effects*
  • Repetition Priming / physiology
  • Sex Characteristics*


  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Ethanol