Housing conditions alter GABAA receptor of alcohol-preferring and -nonpreferring rats

R. J. Thielen, W. J. McBride, L. Lumeng, T. K. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


The effects of housing conditions on some functional properties of the GABAA benzodiazepine (BZD) receptor in the cerebral cortex were examined in the selectively bred alcohol-preferring (P) and -nonpreferring (NP) lines of rats. Compared to rats housed in pairs (P with P and NP with NP), P and NP rats housed individually had 44% (p < 0.005) and 32% (p < 0.01) lower values, respectively, for GABA-stimulated 36Cl- influx into cortical microsacs. The maximal effect (Vmax) of flunitrazepam (FNZ) to enhance GABA-stimulated 36Cl- uptake was 44% higher in individually housed P rats than pair-housed P rats (p < 0.05) and 51% higher than individually housed NP rats (p < 0.05). There was no difference between single and pair-housed NP rats for Vmax values of FNZ enhancement of GABA-stimulated 36Cl- influx. The results show housing conditions can alter some of the functional properties of the GABAA/BZD receptor in the P and NP lines of rats. The differential effect of housing conditions on FNZ enhancement of 36Cl- influx, observed between the lines, may be a result of higher levels of anxiety being produced by brief isolation in the P rat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-727
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Alcohol-nonpreferring NP rats
  • Alcohol-preferring P rats
  • Cl influx
  • GABA benzodiazepine receptor
  • Housing conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology

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