Modification of the actions of ethanol by centrally active peptides

Gerald D. Frye, Daniel Luttinger, Charles B. Nemeroff, Richard A. Vogel, Arthur J. Prange, George R. Breese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Ethanol (2.0-5.0 g/kg, IP) caused a dose-related impairment of the aerial righting reflex of mice 60 min after injection. Ethanol (3.5 g/kg, IP) given simultaneously with neurotensin (30 μg, IC), bombesin (30 μg, IC) or β-endorphin (20 μg, IC) caused a greater impairment of the reflex than ethanol alone. Simultaneous treatment with ethanol (4.0 g/kg, IP) and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH, 3.0-30 μg, IC) caused less impairment of this measure than ethanol alone. None of the peptides altered the height of aerial righting when administered alone, or when administered with ethanol no peptide altered blood or brain ethanol content. Unexpectedly, TRH (20 and 40 mg/kg, IP) potentiated the action of ethanol by increasing punished licking in water-deprived rats, rather than antagonizing this acute action of ethanol. Like ethanol (1.0 and 2.0 g/kg, IP), β-endorphin (100 μg, IC) suppressed ethanol-withdrawal tremor and audiogenic-seizure susceptibility in ethanol-dependent rats. β-Endorphin (1 μg) and bombesin (10 and 30 μg, IC) reduced only audiogenic-seizure susceptibility. TRH (10-100 μg, IC, or 1-40 mg/kg, IV) and neurotensin (10-100 μg, IC) had no effect on these ethanol-withdrawal signs. These findings suggest that centrally active peptides may play a role in certain acute and chronic actions of ethanol. Because TRH, neurotensin, bombesin and β-endorphin do not alter all actions of ethanol in the same way, an interaction of ethanol with many functionally independent neuronal circuits is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • Aerial righting reflex
  • Audiogenic-seizure susceptibility
  • Bombesin
  • Ethanol
  • Ethanol withdrawal
  • Neuropeptides
  • Neurotensin
  • Punished responding
  • Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)
  • Tremor
  • β-endorphin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Modification of the actions of ethanol by centrally active peptides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this