High- and low-alcohol-preferring mice show differences in conditioned taste aversion to alcohol
Background: Genetic differences in sensitivity to the aversive effects of alcohol may contribute to alcohol drinking behavior. The present study examined the development of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) to various doses of alcohol in two pairs of mouse lines selectively bred for high (HAP) and low (LAP) alcohol preference. Methods: Alcohol-naïve, male and female HAP and LAP mice from both replicate 1 (HAP n = 29; LAP n = 28) and replicate 2 (HAP n = 34; LAP n = 35) were adapted to a 2-hr per day water restriction regimen. During five conditioning trials at 48 hr intervals, mice received an intraperitoneal injection of saline or 2 g/kg or 4 g/kg alcohol immediately following 1 hr of access to a 0.20 M NaCl solution. Results: LAP mice of both replicates showed a significantly greater magnitude of CTA to both 2 g/kg and 4 g/kg alcohol compared with HAP mice of both replicates. There were no line differences in consumption of the NaCl solution in the saline control groups. Conclusions: These data suggest that mice selectively bred for low alcohol preference are more sensitive to the development of alcohol CTA than mice selectively bred for high alcohol preference. The present findings indicate that common genes mediate both alcohol preference and the aversive effects of alcohol as measured in the CTA paradigm.