Ethanol-Induced Conditioned Taste Aversion in 15 Inbred Mouse Strains

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This study used a genetic correlational strategy to characterize the neurobiological basis of ethanol's (0, 2, or 4 g/kg) aversive effects as indexed by conditioned taste aversion. Substantial strain differences in taste aversion and hypothermia were observed, but the genetic correlation between these phenotypes was not significant. However, significant genetic correlations were observed between taste aversion and ethanol-related behaviors measured in previous studies, including home-cage ethanol preference (r = .68) and ethanol withdrawal severity (r = −.69). Strains showing stronger taste aversion tended to show lower ethanol preference and higher withdrawal severity. This pattern of findings is consistent with previous studies suggesting a commonality in neurobiological mechanisms underlying these phenotypes. These results do not support the hypothesis that ethanol-induced taste aversion is mediated by the drug's rewarding properties.

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