Adaptive changes in membrane lipid composition and fluidity as the basis for ethanol tolerance

Drug Alcohol Depend. Jan-Mar 1979;4(1-2):189-95. doi: 10.1016/0376-8716(79)90066-8.


This paper is intended as a brief commentary on the evidence for adaptation to ethanol at the level of the cell membrane with more detailed consideration of the possible mechanisms for such adaptation. Methodological and conceptual problems are raised and the current views of ethanol tolerance at the membrane level are criticised. The paper includes an abstract of work carried out by the author's group on changes in membrane phospholipid composition of mice during exposure to ethanol by inhalation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Fluidity / drug effects*
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Synaptic Membranes / drug effects*


  • Membrane Lipids
  • Phospholipids
  • Ethanol
  • Cholesterol