1. 1. We used a powerful serial-order analysis technique to test the hypothesis that some of ethanol's intoxicating effects could be due to action of its metabolite, acetaldehyde. 2. 2. Single-unit activity from cerebellar cortex was evaluated in 24 rats that were given ethanol intravenously (0.64 gm/kg); in half of these rats, acetaldehyde accumulation was prevented by pretreatment with d-penicillamine (1.2 mg/kg), which is known to prevent acetaldehyde accumulation as ethanol is metabolized. 3. 3. Spike train interval patterns were monitored before and after ethanol, and the incidence of certain patterns was significantly changed in both test groups by ethanol. Across neurons, the number of such patterns in which there were increases or decreases in incidence was comparable in both pretreatment groups. Likewise, there were no clear differences between test groups in the number of sets of 3 or more neurons that had the same change in specific groups of patterns. 4. 4. Overall, we found that the serial-order analysis provided a powerful and sensitive indication of drug effect, yet there was no convincing evidence that ethanol effect was significantly different in the two pretreatment groups. © 1980.
- Evoked Potentials