Comparison of the actions of γ-butyrolactone and 1,4-butanediol in Swiss-Webster mice

Christopher M. De Fiebre, Nancy Ellen C. De Fiebre, Scott L. Coleman, Michael J. Forster

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13 Scopus citations


The abuse of γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and two of its precursors, γ-butyrolactone (GBL) and 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BD) are recognized as a public health concern. Here, we report dose-response and time-course analyses for effects of GBL and 1,4-BD on locomotor activity and body temperature in Swiss-Webster mice. Locomotor activity was measured for 2 h following a single injection of one of four doses of each agent plus a saline vehicle control. At 50 mg/kg, GBL produced an initial depression of locomotor activity which was followed by stimulation of locomotor activity. In contrast, 1,4-BD at 50 mg/kg stimulated locomotor activity without producing any depression of activity. At higher doses, GBL produced primarily a dose-dependent decrease in locomotor activity that returned to baseline within 50 min. In contrast, 1,4-BD produced an initial depression which was followed by stimulation of activity. Body temperature was measured rectally across a 2.5-h time course following injection with either agent. Both drugs produced hypothermia with peak effects occurring at 20 and 30 min for both drugs for the lower and higher dose, respectively. At 150 mg/kg, GBL produced a greater hypothermic response; however, no differences in hypothermic response were observed at 100 mg/kg. These studies demonstrate that the precursor drugs to GHB have some differential actions from each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-710
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • 1,4-Butanediol
  • Club drugs
  • Hypothermia
  • Locomotor activity
  • γ-Butyrolactone
  • γ-Hydroxybutyrate


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