Sex differences in the effects of ethanol pre-exposure during adolescence on ethanol-induced conditioned taste aversion in adult rats

Luke K. Sherrill, Claire Berthold, Wendy A. Koss, Janice M. Juraska, Joshua M. Gulley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Alcohol use, which typically begins during adolescence and differs between males and females, is influenced by both the rewarding and aversive properties of the drug. One way adolescent alcohol use may modulate later consumption is by reducing alcohol's aversive properties. Here, we used a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm to determine if pre-exposure to alcohol (ethanol) during adolescence would attenuate ethanol-induced CTA assessed in adulthood in a sex-dependent manner. Male and female Long-Evans rats were given intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of saline or 3.0. g/kg ethanol in a binge-like pattern during postnatal days (PD) 35-45. In adulthood (>PD 100), rats were given access to 0.1% saccharin, followed by saline or ethanol (1.0 or 1.5. g/kg, i.p.), over four conditioning sessions. We found sex differences in ethanol-induced CTA, with males developing a more robust aversion earlier in conditioning. Sex differences in the effects of pre-exposure were also evident: males, but not females, showed an attenuated CTA in adulthood following ethanol pre-exposure, which occurred approximately nine weeks earlier. Taken together, these findings indicate that males are more sensitive to the aversive properties of ethanol than females. In addition, the ability of pre-exposure to the ethanol US to attenuate CTA is enhanced in males compared to females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume225
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2011

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Ethanol
  • Sex differences
  • US pre-exposure effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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