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Alcohol. 2002 Apr;26(3):167-72.

Differences in ethanol-induced conditioned taste aversion in Sardinian alcohol-preferring and Sardinian alcohol-nonpreferring rats.

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Neuroscienze S.c.a r.l., I-09123, Cagliari, Italy.


In the present study, we investigated whether aversion to the pharmacological effects of ethanol developed to a differential extent in selectively bred Sardinian alcohol-preferring (sP) and Sardinian alcohol-nonpreferring (sNP) rats, and whether this different response was consistent with their genetically determined differences in ethanol preference and consumption. To this purpose, a conditioned taste aversion paradigm was used. Male sP and sNP rats were exposed to five sessions in which a 20-min availability of a saccharin solution (1 g/l) was paired to the injection of ethanol (0, 0.5, or 1 g/kg, i.p.), delivered immediately after removal of the saccharin bottle (conditioning phase). Subsequently, the choice between saccharin solution and water was offered for 18 consecutive daily 20-min sessions (postconditioning phase). Ethanol at 1g/kg produced a marked aversion to saccharin in sNP rats: The reduction in saccharin intake was already evident on the second day of the conditioning phase and lasted for 15 days of the postconditioning phase. In contrast, this dose of ethanol elicited a modest, if any, conditioned taste aversion in sP rats, although blood ethanol levels were comparable to those assessed in sNP rats. These results indicate the existence of a differential degree of aversion to the postingestional effects of ethanol between sP and sNP rats, and support the suggestion that it may contribute, at least in part, to the opposite preference for and consumption of ethanol monitored in these rat lines.

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