Sweetener preference of C57BL/6ByJ and 129P3/J mice

Chem Senses. 2001 Sep;26(7):905-13. doi: 10.1093/chemse/26.7.905.


Previous studies have shown large differences in taste responses to several sweeteners between mice of the C57BL/6ByJ (B6) and 129P3/J (129) inbred strains. The goal of this study was to compare behavioral responses of B6 and 129 mice to a wider variety of sweeteners. Seventeen sweeteners were tested using two-bottle preference tests with water. Three main patterns of strain differences were evident. First, sucrose, maltose, saccharin, acesulfame-K, sucralose and SC-45647 were preferred by both strains, but the B6 mice had lower preference thresholds and higher solution intakes. Second, the amino acids D-phenylalanine, D-tryptophan, L-proline and glycine were highly preferred by B6 mice, but not by 129 mice. Third, glycyrrhizic acid, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, thaumatin and cyclamate did not evoke strong preferences in either strain. Aspartame was neutral to all 129 and some B6 mice, but other B6 mice strongly preferred it. Thus, compared with the 129 mice the B6 mice had higher preferences for sugars, sweet tasting amino acids and several but not all non-caloric sweeteners. Glycyrrhizic acid, neohesperidin, thaumatin and cyclamate are not palatable to B6 or 129 mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Food Preferences / drug effects
  • Male
  • Maltose / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Saccharin / pharmacology
  • Solutions / pharmacology
  • Species Specificity
  • Sucrose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sucrose / pharmacology
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology
  • Taste / drug effects*
  • Taste Threshold*
  • Thiazines / pharmacology


  • Solutions
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Thiazines
  • Sucrose
  • Maltose
  • trichlorosucrose
  • Saccharin
  • acetosulfame