Using profiles of saccharin and water drinking to detect and discriminate actions of drugs and toxicants

Bryan K. Yamamoto, Charles L. Kutscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experiments were conducted to investigate the feasibility of using the pattern of saccharin and water drinking to detect acute and chronic administration of drugs and toxicants. Procedural variables were found to be crucial. When rats were naive for the saccharin drinking fluid, a single injection of LiCl or 2-deoxyglucose produced persistant saccharin aversion. Hypertonic saline produced only a transient saccharin aversion. If rats were pre-exposed to saccharin, the 2-deoxyglucose injection and hypertonic NaCl produced an increase in saccharin drinking, but LiCl was without effect. Several types of chronic treatment were given to saccharin-experienced rats. Chronic 2-deoxyglucose, LiCl, and Pb administration produced gradually developing saccharin aversion and qualitatively different patterns of saccharin and water drinking. Chronic administration of hypertonic NaCl or insulin or chronic food deprivation had no impact on saccharin preference. It was concluded that patterns of saccharin and water drinking can be used to detect the administration of a drug or toxicant and perhaps even the time course of action, but may not detect a substance given previous to saccharin, perhaps because the animal cannot associate these now familiar perturbations with the novel saccharin solution. This means that existing toxic states may not be detected by using saccharin preference as a probe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-Deoxyglucose
  • Drinking
  • LiCl
  • NaCl
  • Saccharin
  • Taste aversion
  • Toxicants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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