Conditioned taste aversion in rats induced by the alpha 1-adrenoceptor agonist cirazoline. Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent studies have indicated that alpha 1-adrenoceptor agonists such as phenylpropanolamine (PPA), cirazoline, amidephrine, and SK&F-89748 suppress food intake in rats. These compounds activate alpha 1-adrenoceptors within the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN) and may excite efferent fibers that inhibit feeding. Studies of the effects of alpha 1-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.

published proceedings

  • Pharmacol Biochem Behav

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • McMahon, LR||Morien, A||Davies, BT||Wellman, PJ

publication date

  • July 1994