Taste aversion learning in preweanling rats exposed to alcohol prenatally

Edward P. Riley, Susan Barron, Cynthia D. Driscoll, Jaw‐Sy ‐S Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the development of a conditioned taste aversion were examined in preweanling rat pups. Mothers of these pups were fed isocaloric liquid diets containing either 35 or 0% ethanolderived calories (EDC) from gestation days 6 through 20. A pair‐feeding procedure was employed, and an ad lib lab chow control group was also included. At 5, 10, or 15 days of age, pups were infused with a saccharin solution through a cannula implanted in the oral cavity. Half of the pups in each group were then injected with lithium chloride (LiCl), which served as the poisoning agent, and the other half with sodium chloride (NaCl) as a control. Animals were subsequently tested for a conditioned aversion to the saccharin solution. At 15 days of age, all of the pups in the LiCl‐poisoned group demonstrated a conditioned taste aversion to the saccharin solution, but the degree of this aversion was less in alcohol‐exposed offspring. At 10 days of age, a taste aversion was learned, although it was not as strong as that shown by 15‐day‐old pups, and it appeared to be learned equally well by all of the prenatal treatment groups. At 5 days of age, there was marginal support for taste aversion learning. Again, it did not interact with prenatal treatment. The ontogenic differences in taste aversion learning exhibited by alcohol‐exposed offspring relative to controls are discussed in terms of altered hippocampal development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Taste aversion learning in preweanling rats exposed to alcohol prenatally'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this