Ethanol: modifications of acute intoxication by divalent cations

Science  17 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4334, pp. 1219-1221
DOI: 10.1126/science.343251


Calcium, other divalent cations, and calcium antagonists were tested for their ability to alter ethanol-induced sleeping time, hypothermia, and behavioral intoxication in mice and rats. Calcium given intraventricularly significantly enhanced sleeping time and behavioral intoxication in a dose-related manner. The ionophores X537A and A23187 accentuated the effect of a low dose of calcium, whereas the calcium chelators EDTA and EGTA decreased sleeping time. Calcium also enhanced tertiary butanol- and chloral hydrate-induced sleeping time. The effects of cations on ethanol-induced hypothermia were less significant. The results suggest the existence of a central calcium pool that is involved in ethanol intoxication in rodents.