Consumption of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter solutions by selectively bred alcohol-preferring and alcohol-nonpreferring lines of rats

Journal Article

To determine whether selective breeding for high or low oral ethanol consumption is associated with different preferences for nonpharmacological solutions with various flavors, the oral intake of a range of concentrations of sucrose (0.5-64.0 g/100 ml), NaCl (0.025-3.2 g/100 ml), citric acid (0.008-2.048 g/liter), and sucrose octaacetate (0.002-0.512 g/liter) was studied in alcohol-preferring (P) and alcohol-nonpreferring (NP) rats. Separate groups of 7-8 rats from each line were tested for consumption of each of the four flavors. The flavored solutions were presented continuously with water and food always available, and the concentrations were doubled every 48 hr. Although rats from both lines showed a strong preference for the sucrose solutions, P rats consumed greater amounts than NP rats [F(7,98) = 5.57, p < 0.001]. Rats of the P line drank less of the NaCl solutions than NP rats [F(7,98) = 3.88, p < 0.001], but the effect was not as robust as the line differences seen with sucrose. The P and NP rats did not differ in citric acid or sucrose octaacetate intake at any of the concentrations tested. Selective breeding for high oral ethanol preference appears to be positively associated with consumption of sweet solutions and negatively associated with intake of salty solutions.

Cited Authors

  • Stewart, RB; Russell, RN; Lumeng, L; Li, TK; Murphy, JM

Published Date

  • 1994

Published In

  • Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 375 - 381