Area postrema mediation of physiological and behavioral effects of lithium chloride in the rat

Brain Res. 1992 Mar 13;575(1):132-7. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(92)90432-9.


The area postrema (AP), a chemoreceptor trigger zone for nausea and vomiting, has been implicated in taste aversion conditioning with LiCl. In addition to taste aversion acquisition, the present studies indicate that a number of other responses to LiCl administration are eliminated by lesions of the AP. These include a behavioral response, 'lying-on-belly' as well as two physiological responses, delayed stomach emptying and hypothermia. These findings suggest that the area postrema is critically involved in the detection of LiCl and in a wide range of responses to this toxin. They also provide strong evidence that the failure to acquire conditioned taste aversions to LiCl-paired flavors after AP lesions can be attributed to the absence of a significant 'illness' response in lesioned animals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Brain Stem / drug effects
  • Brain Stem / pathology
  • Brain Stem / physiology*
  • Chlorides / pharmacology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / drug effects*
  • Gastric Emptying / drug effects
  • Lithium / pharmacology*
  • Lithium Chloride
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Chlorides
  • Lithium
  • Lithium Chloride