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J Comp Physiol Psychol. 1976 Dec;90(12):1156-63.

Conditioned adrenocortical steroid elevations in the rat.


An illness-induced taste aversion paradigm was used to condition an elevation in plasma corticosterone level. Rats were injected with cyclophosphamide 30 min after consuming a novel saccharin drinking solution. Plasma corticosterone levels were measured before conditioning to determine unconditioned steroid levels and 3 and 6 days after training when conditioned and nonconditioned animals were provided with the saccharin solution or plain water, or were left deprived. The pairing of saccharin and cyclophosphamide was effective in inducing a passive avoidance response. There were no differences between the steroid levels of conditioned and nonconditioned animals supplied with plain water or those that remained deprived, although deprivation increased corticosterone levels. Nonconditioned rats presented with saccharin had steroid levels that did not differ from control values. Conditioned animals presented with saccharin showed an elevation in steroid level which was significantly greater than that observed in any other group. Comparable results were obtained when LiCl was used as the unconditioned stimulus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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