The Genetics of Alcohol Responses of Invertebrate Model Systems

Adrian Rothenfluh, Benjamin R. Troutwine, Alfredo Ghezzi, Nigel S. Atkinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


Alcohol use disorders and alcoholism are prevalent conditions that come at a high cost for individuals and for society at large. About half the factors contributing to the development of these disorders are genetic, yet few of the genes involved are well known or characterized. Invertebrate organisms, especially the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster and the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, have been successfully used to isolate genes involved in behavioral ethanol responses that are relevant to mammalian alcohol drinking. In addition, because of their genetic accessibility, these invertebrates have been instrumental in deciphering the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways encompassed by the genes involved in alcohol responses. Here we review the experimental approaches and behavioral paradigms utilized in these organisms and highlight the genetic and molecular insights into the mechanisms of behavioral alcohol responses they have enabled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeurobiology of Alcohol Dependence
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)9780124059412
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Alcohol addiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Apis mellifera
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Dependence
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Ethanol
  • Preference
  • Sensitivity
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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