Conditioned taste aversion in rats induced by the α1-adrenoceptor agonist cirazoline

L. R. McMahon, A. Morien, B. T. Davies, P. J. Wellman

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1 Scopus citations


Recent studies have indicated that α1-adrenoceptor agonists such as phenylpropanolamine (PPA), cirazoline, amidephrine, and SK&F-89748 suppress food intake in rats. These compounds activate α1-adrenoceptors within the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN) and may excite efferent fibers that inhibit feeding. Studies of the effects of α1-agonists suggest a specificity for feeding behavior, but no study to date has evaluated whether these agonists may suppress feeding behavior by the induction of malaise. Accordingly, the present experiment examined the ability of systemically administered cirazoline (0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 mg/kg, IP) to induce conditioned taste aversion (CTA) to a saccharin solution. Significant CTA was noted for 0.2 and 0.4 mg/kg cirazoline but not for 0.1 mg/kg cirazoline, compared to a vehicle treatment. The ED50 for cirazoline-induced aversion was computed to be 0.3 mg/kg, which contrasts with an ED50 value of 0.09 mg/kg for the effect of cirazoline on food intake (computed in other studies). More importantly, a 0.1 mg/kg dose of cirazoline, which is slightly greater than that of the ED50 value for suppression of feeding, did not induce significant CTA in the present study. These results suggest that malaise is not a prominent factor in the suppressive activity of cirazoline on food intake and advocate the use of cirazoline as an effective appetite suppressant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-604
Number of pages4
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1994


  • Anorexia
  • Cirazoline
  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Malaise
  • α-Adrenoceptor agonists/antagonists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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