Effect of clonidine on sucrose intake and water intake varies as a function of dose, deprivation state, and duration of exposure

Charles F. Flaherty, Patricia S. Grigson

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Lick frequency was monitored in five-minute intervals over a one-hour period in rats given access to 8% sucrose (Experiment 1) or water (Experiment 2). Prior to the session, the rats were administered either isotonic saline or clonidine (6.24, 12.5, or 25 μg/kg). In deprived rats (82%) clonidine led to a dose-dependent reduction in licking behavior. Water intake in deprived rats was late in the test period, there was a dose-related increase in consummatory behavior. Water intake in deprive rats was depressed by clonidine. In rats maintained on a free-feeding schedule, the higher clonidine doses led to a decrement in sucrose intake over the first 15 minutes of access; whereas the 6.25 μg/kg dose stimulated consummatory behavior, but only during the first five minutes of access. There were no reliable effects of clonidine on sucrose intake late in the access period for the free-feeding rats. Water intake in free-feeding rats tended to be enhanced by the low dose of clonidine, particularly late in the access period. In general, deprivation enhanced sucrose intake and depressed water intake and clonidine exaggerated both of these trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-389
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1989


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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