GM1 ganglioside reduces ethanol intoxication and the development of ethanol dependence

Alcohol. 1995 Nov-Dec;12(6):573-80. doi: 10.1016/0741-8329(95)02005-5.


The monosialoganglioside, GM1, protects the nervous system against a variety of insults. In this study, we evaluated the protective properties of GM1 on ethanol intoxication and development of dependence. GM1 (20-40 mg/kg, IP) reduced the extent and duration of ataxia produced by ethanol (2 g/kg, IP, 15-95 min), and delayed the onset of loss and reduced the duration of the righting reflex (LORR) produced by ethanol (4.2 g/kg, IP). GM1 did not alter ethanol-induced hypothermia or the rate of ethanol clearance. Rather, GM1 increased the waking blood ethanol concentration. In animals fed a complete liquid diet containing 4.5% ethanol, concurrent administration of GM1 (40 mg/kg/day) blocked the tremors, hypolocomotion, and anxiety-like behavior associated with ethanol withdrawal. These findings demonstrate that GM1 reduces both ethanol's acute intoxication and the signs and symptoms of ethanol withdrawal by a mechanism not related to ethanol pharmacokinetics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Intoxication / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / chemically induced
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Ataxia / chemically induced
  • Ataxia / prevention & control
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Ethanol* / blood
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Postural Balance / drug effects
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Tremor / chemically induced


  • G(M1) Ganglioside
  • Ethanol