Rats suppress intake of a saccharin conditioned stimulus (CS) when paired with an aversive unconditioned stimulus such as lithium chloride. This phenomenon is referred to as a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). Rats also suppress intake of a saccharin CS when paired with a rewarding sucrose solution and when paired with a drug of abuse. Although the suppressive effects of drugs of abuse have long been interpreted as CTAs, evidence suggests that rats may suppress intake of the saccharin CS following taste-drug pairings because they are anticipating the rewarding rather than the aversive properties of the drug. Oddly, however, while all other drugs of abuse tested suppress intake of a gustatory CS, the highly reinforcing drug, heroin, is reportedly ineffective. The present study reexamined this issue in both water-deprived and water-replete rats using procedures that sustain both morphine- and cocaine-induced suppression of CS intake. The results showed that heroin greatly reduced CS intake following saccharin-heroin pairings and that this effect was less variable when assessed in water-replete subjects. When taken with other reports, these data suggest that rats suppress intake of a saccharin CS in anticipation of the availability of all drugs of abuse tested. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biological Psychiatry
- Behavioral Neuroscience