Date of Thesis

Summer 2023


Susceptibility to alcohol use disorders (AUDs) arises from a complex interplay of genetics and environmental experiences. While the initial subjective response predicts susceptibility to AUD, genetic variation is responsible for about 50% of an individual's risk. This study used a single-exposure conditioned place preference paradigm (SE-CPP) to identify phenotypic and genetic correlates of the initial subjective rewarding effects of alcohol (EtOH) in diversity outbred (DO) mice. We assessed the relationship between SE-CPP and anxiety-like behaviors using a marble burying test and light-dark box test. Ninety-six male and female diversity outbred mice were tested in a Marble Burying test at 7-8 weeks, followed by the light-dark box at 9-10 weeks of age. Between 11-12 weeks, subjects were assessed for SE-CPP. Animals received 1.5 g/kg EtOH or equivolume saline on either Day 1 and Day 3 in two distinct contexts (counterbalanced) and were tested for a context preference on Day 5. Overall, SE-CPP was evident in both males and females. In females, there was a correlation between the percentage of time spent in the EtOH-paired context and the number of marbles buried four weeks prior. In males, there was a correlation between the distance traveled during EtOH conditioning and the percentage of time spent in the EtOH-paired context. Genotyping will be used to understand the possible link between the observed phenotypes and genetic variation. This research contributes to a better understanding of the influences of sex and genetic variation in AUD.


Diversity Outbred Mice, Single Exposure Conditioned Place Preference, EtOH, Marble Burying, Light-Dark Box

Access Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Judy Grisel

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennie Stevenson

Third Advisor

Dr. Erin Rhinehart

Included in

Psychology Commons