Social modification of alcohol consumption in inbred mice

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Science  11 Jul 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4197, pp. 149-151
DOI: 10.1126/science.1138373


The strain-specific "preference" for, or "aversion" to, an alcohol solution in a choice situation on the part of C57BL and DBA mice is believed to be under genetic control. But social rearing conditions are now shown to alter the voluntary consumption of alcohol, so that DBA weanling mice housed for 7 weeks with adult C57BL mice increase--and C57BL weanling mice housed with DBA adults decrease--their alcohol intake. Although substantial and highly significant changes in alcohol self-selection occur, strain-specific phenotypes are not reversed.