Ethanol withdrawal in mice precipitated and exacerbated by hyperbaric exposure

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Science  23 Aug 1985:
Vol. 229, Issue 4715, pp. 772-774
DOI: 10.1126/science.4040651


Mice were fed an ethanol-containing liquid diet for 9 days. On removal of the diet, exposure to 12 atmospheres absolute of a mixture of helium and oxygen precipitated earlier withdrawal, increased withdrawal scores for the first 6 hours, and increased the peak withdrawal intensity compared to dependent animals exposed to control conditions. The enhanced withdrawal did not appear to reflect alterations in ethanol elimination, oxygen or helium partial pressures, body temperature, or general excitability. These results extend to chronically treated animals the evidence that hyperbaric exposure antagonizes the membrane actions of ethanol.