Chronic caffeine exposure in rats blocks a subsequent nicotine-conditioned taste avoidance in a one-bottle, but not a two-bottle test

Matthew I. Palmatier, Rick A Bevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Two experiments were conducted in order to investigate nicotine-conditioned taste avoidance (CTA) following chronic preexposure to caffeine. Rats were given daily intraperitoneal injections of caffeine anhydrous (0, 10, or 30 mg/kg) for 10 or 30 days. Training of the nicotine-CTA began after the last day of caffeine preexposure. On five separate occasions access to a saccharin solution was followed immediately by an injection of 1.2 mg/kg nicotine hydrogen tartrate salt or saline. Nicotine-CTA readily developed in saline-preexposed controls. That is, paired rats drank less saccharin solution than unpaired rats after repeated saccharin-nicotine pairings. A similar pattern of nicotine-CTA was found for rats preexposed to 30 mg/kg caffeine for 10 days. Following 10 days of preexposure to 10 mg/kg caffeine, however, CTA did not develop under standard testing conditions. Thirty days of caffeine preexposure did not affect the development of a nicotine-CTA even though the anorexic effects of caffeine were evident after exposure to 30 mg/kg for this duration. Thus, caffeine exposure appears to weaken acquisition or expression of the conditioned avoidance properties of nicotine. This effect is sensitive to the dose of caffeine and duration of preexposure. Importantly, the pattern of nicotine-CTA does not appear to be due to nonspecific effects of caffeine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-289
Number of pages11
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 21 2001



  • Acetylcholine
  • Adenosine
  • Conditioned avoidance
  • Dopamine
  • Pavlovian conditioning
  • Rats
  • Saccharin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this