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“Jello® Shots” and Cocktails as Ethanol Vehicles: Parametric Studies with High- and Low-Saccharin-Consuming Rats

Department of Psychology, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Road, Los Angeles, CA, 90041, USA
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Nutrients 2013, 5(11), 4685-4714; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu5114685
Received: 22 October 2013 / Revised: 13 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 21 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Neuroscience)
Naïve humans and rats voluntarily consume little ethanol at concentrations above ~6% due to its aversive flavor. Developing procedures that boost intake of ethanol or ethanol-paired flavors facilitates research on neural mechanisms of ethanol-associated behaviors and helps identify variables that modulate ethanol intake outside of the lab. The present study explored the impact on consumption of ethanol and ethanol-paired flavors of nutritionally significant parametric variations: ethanol vehicle (gelatin or solution, with or without polycose); ethanol concentration (4% or 10%); and feeding status (chow deprived or ad lib.) during flavor conditioning and flavor preference testing. Individual differences were modeled by testing rats of lines selectively bred for high (HiS) or low (LoS) saccharin intake. A previously reported preference for ethanol-paired flavors was replicated when ethanol had been drunk during conditioning. However, indifference or aversion to ethanol-paired flavors generally obtained when ethanol had been eaten in gelatin during conditioning, regardless of ethanol concentration, feeding status, or caloric value of the vehicle. Modest sex and line variations occurred. Engaging different behavioral systems when eating gelatin, rather than drinking solution, may account for these findings. Implications for parameter selection in future neurobiological research and for understanding conditions that influence ethanol intake outside of the lab are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: gelatin; ethanol; caloric compensation; flavor preference; individual differences gelatin; ethanol; caloric compensation; flavor preference; individual differences
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Dess, N.K.; Madkins, C.D.; Geary, B.A.; Chapman, C.D. “Jello® Shots” and Cocktails as Ethanol Vehicles: Parametric Studies with High- and Low-Saccharin-Consuming Rats. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4685-4714.

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