Abstract # 130:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 04:30 PM-04:50 PM: Session 13 (Regency East #1) Oral Presentation

Genetic Links to Alcoholism in Nonhuman Primates

J. L. Cameron1,2, J. D. Higley3, J. Rogers4, K. Abbott1, H. Oostman1 and D. E. Williamson2
1ONPRC, 505 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA, 2University of Pittsburgh, 3NIAAA, 4Southwest National Primate Research Center
     The overall goal of this study was to determine whether several behaviors and physiological measures that appear to be related to an increased propensity to consume alcohol in human populations, are heritable in a large rhesus monkey population housed at ONPRC. One year old monkeys (n=75) each received a 15-min infusion of ethanol (2.0 g/kg, iv) to establish stable plasma levels of 2.46±0.08 mg/ml ethanol 5 min after the infusion. Heart rate was measured during the infusion. The degree of intoxication was assessed in monkeys by measuring the latency for them to climb out of a tall box and the number of impaired behaviors (sway, fall, stumble, slip) they displayed during a 15 min period in which they were allowed to climb and play in an enclosed space. Each of these measures was highly heritable; heart rate at the end of the infusion: h2=0.65, p=0.045; latency to leave the box: h2=1.0, p=0.01; and the number of impaired behaviors: h2=1.0, p=0.03. Blood samples were collected from each monkey for isolation of DNA and currently DNA is being analyzed for characterization of 270 microsatellite markers across the genome to begin to identify genes that underlie these traits that have been previously linked to alcoholism.