Effect of ingestion-contingent hypothermia on ethanol self-administration

Christopher L. Cunningham, Douglas R. Niehus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This study tested the hypothesis that ethanol intake and preference for ethanol-paired flavors are inversely related to the magnitude of hypothermia induced by ethanol. Fluid-deprived rats were given 15-min daily access to 7% ethanol in one of two flavored saccharin solutions. Consumption of one flavored ethanol solution (counterbalanced) was consistently followed by 6-hr placement in a room maintained at 32°C, whereas, consumption of the other flavored ethanol solution was followed by maintenance at room temperature (21°C). Animals experienced less hypothermia when ethanol was followed by exposure to 32°C and eventually drank more of the flavored ethanol that preceded this exposure. Moreover, intermittent two-bottle choice tests revealed development of a preference for the flavor that preceded exposure to 32°C. An "extinction" phase indicated that this preference was not due to association with the thermal environments, but depended on differences in ethanol-induced hypothermia. These results support the conclusion that oral intake of ethanol is modulated by ethanol-induced hypothermia, most likely through a conditioned taste aversion mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-380
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambient temperature
  • Body temperature
  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Ethanol
  • Heat
  • Hypothermia
  • Rats
  • Self-administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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