Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CART) reduces rats' intake of liquid diet if the peptide reaches the 4th ventricle (4V). To test for specificity of 4V CART effects on feeding, the authors compared its ability to reduce intakes of liquid diet and water and tested for conditioned taste aversion (CTA). CART reduced 30-min intakes of both water and Ensure at a threshold of 1 microg. Lithium chloride (0.15 M, 20 ml/kg i.p.) and 4V CART (1 microg) paired with novel saccharin solution reduced saccharin preferences similarly in subsequent 2-bottle tests, compared with saline. Thus, CART can produce CTA. These data demonstrate that 4V CART's actions in ingestive behavior are not specific to nutrients and suggest that aspects of 4V CART's actions in reducing intake may be secondary to the production of an aversive state.