When low doses of insulin are infused directly into the third ventricle, rats reduce their food intake and lose weight. To determine whether these effects could be due to malaise induced by the treatment, the effects of intraventricular insulin were compared to the effects of the emetic agent lithium chloride to condition a taste aversion, to stimulate oxytocin secretion, and to reduce sodium appetite in response to furosemide treatment. For all three of these measures, lithium chloride treatment had a predictable effect compared to controls. Specifically, lithium caused a significant taste aversion, elevated plasma oxytocin, and attenuated sodium appetite. However, lithium did not produce a significant change in food intake or body weight. On the other hand, intraventricular insulin treatment did cause a significant reduction in body weight yet had no effect on these indices of malaise in the rat. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that intraventricular insulin does not reduce food intake and body weight by producing malaise but rather serves as a negative feedback signal of body adiposity to the central nervous system.