Crossed high alcohol preferring mice exhibit aversion-resistant responding for alcohol with quinine but not footshock punishment

Alcohol. 2022 Dec:105:35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2022.09.006. Epub 2022 Oct 20.


A symptom of alcohol use disorder (AUD) is compulsive drinking, or drinking that persists despite negative consequences. In mice, aversion-resistant models are used to model compulsive-like drinking by pairing the response for alcohol with a footshock or by adding quinine, a bitter tastant, to the alcohol solution. crossed High Alcohol Preferring (cHAP) mice, a selectively bred line of mice that consumes pharmacologically relevant levels of alcohol, demonstrate a high level of aversion-resistance to quinine-adulterated alcohol. The current study investigated quinine-resistant and footshock-resistant responding for 10% ethanol in male and female cHAP mice with vs. without a history of alcohol exposure. cHAP mice were first trained to respond for 10% ethanol in an operant-response task. Next, mice were exposed to water or 10% ethanol for twelve 24-h sessions using a two-bottle choice procedure. Footshock-resistant ethanol responding was then tested in the operant chamber by pairing a footshock (0.35 mA) with the nose-poke response during one session. Quinine-resistant responding for alcohol was tested over five sessions (500-2500 μM quinine). Finally, footshock sensitivity was assessed using a flinch, jump, vocalize test. Alcohol exposure history did not influence responses for 10% ethanol or either measure of aversion-resistance. Further, cHAP mice were sensitive to footshock punishment but continued to respond for alcohol at all quinine concentrations. No sex differences were observed in any measure of alcohol responding, but female cHAP mice were less sensitive to footshock than males. These results replicate and extend the previous demonstration of a robust, innate resistance to quinine aversion in cHAP mice and further suggest that this tendency is not observed when footshock is used to punish drinking.

Keywords: alcohol; aversion-resistant; crossed high alcohol preferring; footshock; operant; quinine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ethanol* / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Quinine* / pharmacology


  • Quinine
  • Ethanol