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Bilateral tetrodotoxin blockade of the rat vestibular nuclei substitutes the natural unconditioned stimulus in taste aversion learning

Authors
Journal
Neuroscience Letters
0304-3940
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
279
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0304-3940(99)00977-5
Keywords
  • Anesthesia
  • Rat
  • Taste Aversion Learning
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Vestibular Nuclei

Abstract

Abstract The aversive effects of bilateral transient blockade of the lateral vestibular nucleus caused by tetrodotoxin microinjections were tested using conditioned taste aversion in the first experiment. Male Wistar rats received tetrodotoxin injections (10 ng) after drinking a coffee solution (0.5%), either in the lateral vestibular nucleus (LVN), the parabrachial nucleus or the dopaminergic area A8. Two days later they drank a cider vinegar solution (3%) not followed by injections. In a later choice test, only the group receiving the injection in the lateral vestibular nucleus displayed a coffee aversion. In a second experiment the role of the peripheral vestibular symptoms induced by LVN inactivation on substituting the aversive stimulus was explored in the same behavioral task. Rats anesthetized (Pentobarbital, 25 mg/kg) before tetrodoxin LVN blockade, that did not show peripheral symptoms, did not develop learned aversions. The coffee preference ratios did not differ to those animals receiving only anesthesia or those that remained undisturbed. These results showed that the bilateral blockade of the vestibular nuclei may induce peripheral vestibular symptoms that that may substitute the aversive stimulus in taste aversion learning.

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