Ethanol-induced conditioned taste aversion in Warsaw Alcohol High-Preferring (WHP) and Warsaw Alcohol Low-Preferring (WLP) rats

Alcohol. 2016 Mar;51:63-9. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2015.11.011. Epub 2016 Jan 30.


The aversive action of the pharmacological properties of ethanol was studied in selectively bred Warsaw Alcohol High-Preferring (WHP) and Warsaw Alcohol Low-Preferring (WLP) rats. For this study, a conditioned-taste aversion test was used. Male WHP and WLP rats were submitted to daily 20-min sessions for 5 days, in which a saccharin solution (1.0 g/L) was available (pre-conditioning phase). Next, this drinking was paired with the injection of ethanol (0, 0.5, 1.0 g/kg), intraperitoneally [i.p.] immediately after removal of the saccharin bottle (conditioning phase). Afterward, the choice between the saccharin solution and water was extended for 18 subsequent days for 20-min daily sessions (post-conditioning phase). Both doses of ethanol did not produce an aversion to saccharin in WLP and WHP rats in the conditioning phase. However, injection of the 1.0 g/kg dose of ethanol produced an aversion in WLP rats that was detected by a decrease in saccharin intake at days 1, 3, 7, and 10 of the post-conditioning phase, with a decrease in saccharin preference for 16 days of the post-conditioning phase. Conditioned taste aversion, measured as a decrease in saccharin intake and saccharin preference, was only visible in WHP rats at day 1 and day 3 of the post-conditioning phase. This difference between WLP and WHP rats was apparent despite similar blood ethanol levels in both rat lines following injection of 0.5 and 1.0 g/kg of ethanol. These results may suggest differing levels of aversion to the post-ingestional effects of ethanol between WLP and WHP rats. These differing levels of aversion may contribute to the selected line difference in ethanol preference in WHP and WLP rats.

Keywords: Conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm; Ethanol aversive properties; Warsaw Alcohol High-Preferring (WHP) rats; Warsaw Alcohol Low-Preferring (WLP) rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / genetics*
  • Alcoholism / genetics
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Choice Behavior / drug effects
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Saccharin / administration & dosage
  • Taste / genetics*


  • Ethanol
  • Saccharin