Catalase and the production of brain acetaldehyde: a possible mediator of the psychopharmacological effects of ethanol


Zalman Amit, Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, Department of Psychology, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd, West, H-1013, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1M8. Tel: 514-848-2 185; fax: 514-848-2 817; e-mail:


This review represents an attempt to assess the available data on the role of catalase in the mediation of the behavioral actions of ethanol and the regulation of voluntary ethanol consumption. It is argued that acetaldehyde may be formed in brain through the peroxidatic activity of catalase. Furthermore, acetaldehyde formed centrally through the activity of this enzyme, may be responsible, at least in part, for some of the motivational, behavioral and neurotoxic effects of ethanol.