Document Type


Degree Name



Department of Behavioral Neuroscience


Oregon Health & Science University


Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are complex, devastating disorders with a significant impact on individuals and society. AUDs arise from the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Binge drinking is a particular form of excessive intake, defined as a pattern of drinking that results in intoxicating blood alcohol levels. Binge drinking is associated with AUDs, but is also a high-risk behavior separate from a diagnosis with an AUD. As with AUDs, binge drinking is presumed to have genetic and environmental risk factors that contribute to this behavior. The High Drinking in the Dark (HDID) mouse lines were selectively bred for drinking to intoxicating blood ethanol concentrations (BECs) in order to begin to address the question of what biological substrates underlie genetic risk for binge-like drinking. There are two ongoing, independent replicate selections for the HDID lines (HDID-1 and HDID-2), and these mice represent a genetic model of risk for drinking to intoxication. In the experiments in this dissertation, HDID mice were tested for behaviors and neurobiological changes that might be related to their binge-like drinking phenotype. Chapter 1 is an overview of the background data needed to provide context for the present studies. In Chapter 2, data are presented showing that HDID selection has resulted in replicate-specific alcohol drinking microstructures that both result in the same selection phenotype of high BECs. In Chapters 3 and 4, several possible motivational factors are assessed for their potential roles in driving HDID drinking to intoxication. In Chapter 5, neuropeptide Y is examined molecularly and behaviorally as a possible neurobiological candidate that may underlie part of the HDID-1 drinking phenotype. Finally, Chapter 6 provides a general discussion of the findings presented here and what they indicate about the HDID mice as a genetic model of binge-like drinking.




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