Learned aversions to proteins in rats on a dietary self-selection regimen

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101 Long-Evans and 38 Wistar rats in 4 experiments were allowed continuous access to protein and carbohydrate macronutrient sources during a sequence of cyclophosphamide (20 or 40 mg/kg, ip) injections. Significant aversions developed to the protein but not the carbohydrate source in the present experiments, in which the composition of both protein and carbohydrate diets was varied. Results suggest that Ss on a dietary self-selection regimen were more likely to develop conditioned aversions to the protein source than the carbohydrate source (Exps I, II, and III). In Exp IV, the generality of these findings was examined by determining whether aversions would selectively arise to proteins but not carbohydrates when these nutrients were conditioned in a single trial with a meal-feeding paradigm. Results show that proteins were again more salient targets for aversions than carbohydrates. Overall, findings suggest that the tendency to associate proteins with drug-induced illness more readily than carbohydrates is not limited to a self-selection regimen. The possible role of taste factors and/or postingestive effects as the basis for the differential conditioning of proteins and carbohydrates is discussed. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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