1. This laboratory has previously reported that pretreatment with ganglioside, or even with its constituent, sialic acid (SA), can attenuate certain intoxicating effects of ethanol. It was important to see if these findings could be replicated, particularly by using other measures of ethanol effects. Herein we report that pretreatment with either gangliosides or SA attenuated ethanol-induced decrements in locomotion, nose-poke exploration, and anxiety, but not body temperature. 2. An ethanol dose of 4 gm/kg caused a temperature drop of about 3 degrees C, which was unaffected by any pretreatment. The onset to sleep, however, was delayed an average of 18 or 36 secs in mice pretreated with ganglioside or SA, respectively. Ethanol-only (4 gm/kg) depressed mean cumulative locomotor activity to 31% of normal, whereas the depression was 83% of normal with beef brain ganglioside pretreatment. At 2 gm/kg ethanol alone decreased nose poking in a hole-board test to 29% of normal, but the depression was only 55-63% of normal with SA or ganglioside pretreatment. In a staircase climbing anxiety test, this dose of ethanol had no effect by itself, but both ganglioside and SA pre-treatment increased climbing by 22%. Ethanol did depress rearing to only 11% of normal, whereas rearing was 51 and 99% of normal with SA and ganglioside pretreatment, respectively. In a dark-preference test, ethanol-only caused mice to spend 64% of the time in the light, compared to 31% for controls. Time in the light was only 39 and 46% with ganglioside and SA pretreatment, respectively. 3. Blood levels of ethanol were not significantly affected by pretreatment. 4. When given alone, gangliosides significantly stimulated locomotion and staircase climbing. SA significantly decreased rearing in the staircase test. Both gangliosides and SA tended to increase nose poking, number of crossings in the dark-preference test, and time in a lighted compartment. Thus, it is possible that some of the attenuation of intoxication is attributable to non-specific stimulant properties of gangliosides and SA.
- Sialic Acid
- Body Temperature