Role of hypothermia in ethanol-induced conditioned taste aversion

Christopher L. Cunningham, Denise M. Hawks, Douglas R. Niehus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Two experiments examined the effect of ambient temperature during ethanol exposure on development of conditioned taste aversion to saccharin. In both studies, male albino rats receiving saccharin-ethanol (1.5 g/kg, IP) pairings followed by 6-h exposure to a 32° C environment developed a weaker saccharin aversion than did rats experiencing ethanol at room temperature. Exposure to the warm environment reduced ethanol-induced hypothermia, but enhanced ethanol's motor-impairing effect. The influence of ambient temperature on ethanol-induced taste aversion may be due to changes in body temperature, neural sensitivity, or elimination rate. Although alternative accounts cannot be entirely dismissed, this outcome suggests that ethanol-induced hypothermia plays a role in determining strength of conditioned taste aversion and thus may be involved in the regulation of oral ethanol intake in rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambient temperature
  • Body temperature
  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Ethanol
  • Heat
  • Hypothermia
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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