Cooling the area postrema induces conditioned taste aversions in male rats and blocks acquisition of LiCl-induced aversions

Behav Neurosci. 1997 Aug;111(4):768-76. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.111.4.768.


The experiments presented in this article were designed to examine whether area postrema (AP) lesions attenuate LiCl-induced conditioned taste aversions (CTAs) by disruption of information about the illness-producing properties of LiCl or by a lesion-induced malaise. Reversible lesioning of the AP caused by cooling induced a CTA in male rats. The cooling-induced CTA could be blocked if males were exposed to cooling for several days before acquisition day. Acquisition of a LiCl-induced CTA was blocked in males if they were exposed to cooling before acquisition day and during LiCl administration on acquisition day was attenuated but not blocked in males if they were exposed to cooling only before acquisition day, and was unchanged in males if they were exposed to cooling only during LiCl administration. Taken together these results indicate that the AP is important for acquisition of LiCl-induced CTAs but that inactivation of this area is so aversive it will induce CTAs that can obscure the attenuation of LiCl-induced aversions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Drinking / physiology
  • Food Preferences / physiology
  • Lithium Chloride / toxicity
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology
  • Taste / physiology*


  • Dietary Sucrose
  • Lithium Chloride