BACKGROUND:Glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) is an enzyme that metabolizes methylglyoxal (MG), which is a competitive partial agonist at GABAA receptors. Inhibition of GLO1 increases concentrations of MG in the brain and decreases binge-like ethanol (EtOH) drinking. This study assessed whether inhibition of GLO1, or genetic overexpression of Glo1, would also alter the locomotor effects of EtOH, which might explain reduced EtOH consumption following GLO1 inhibition. We used the prototypical GABAA receptor agonist muscimol as a positive control. METHODS:Male C57BL/6J mice were pretreated with either the GLO1 inhibitor S-bromobenzylglutathione cyclopentyl diester (pBBG; 7.5 mg/kg; Experiment 1) or muscimol (0.75 mg/kg; Experiment 2), or their corresponding vehicle. We then determined whether locomotor response to a range of EtOH doses (0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5) was altered by either pBBG or muscimol pretreatment. We also examined the locomotor response to a range of EtOH doses in FVB/NJ wild-type and transgenic Glo1 overexpressing mice (Experiment 3). Anxiety-like behavior (time spent in the center of the open field) was assessed in all 3 experiments. RESULTS:The EtOH dose-response curve was not altered by pretreatment with pBBG or by transgenic overexpression of Glo1. In contrast, muscimol blunted locomotor stimulation at low EtOH doses and potentiated locomotor sedation at higher EtOH doses. No drug or genotype differences were seen in anxiety-like behavior after EtOH treatment. CONCLUSIONS:The dose of pBBG used in this study is within the effective range shown previously to reduce EtOH drinking. Glo1 overexpression has been previously shown to increase EtOH drinking. However, neither manipulation altered the dose-response curve for EtOH's locomotor effects, whereas muscimol appeared to enhance the locomotor sedative effects of EtOH. The present data demonstrate that reduced EtOH drinking caused by GLO1 inhibition is not due to potentiation of EtOH's stimulant or depressant effects.