DMJ Valproate and Saccharin CTA

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Test if pre-conditioning injection of sodium valproate enhances conditioned taste aversion induced by low dose of LiCl in females vs. male rats, as a comparison of another HDAC inhibitor to sodium butyrate used in our earlier studies.

Sodium Valproate Millipore Sigma P4543-25G MW 166.19

Some evidence that valproate can induce CTA when administered after tastant intake, so in this experiment valproate administered 15 min before the start of saccharin consumption in the hopes that any backward conditioning will be weak. Valproate also has a longer half-life than butyrate, so may be in the system longer.

Sodium Valproate Solution:

To maintain osmolarity of 300 mOsm, mix 0.15 M in sterile water.

0.15M NaValporate = 24.9 g / l = 1.25 g / 50 ml = 25 mg/ml

8 ml/kg = 200 mg/kg


Raw Data Link


Durba Mukherjee

CTA Conditioning


Rats arrive (March 16, 2021) n=16 adult male (8) and female(8) sprague-dawley rats (Charles River CD), individually housed in BRF 169.

Day 0: Water removed (March 22, 2021)

Days 1 - 10: Water Restriction (March 23 - April 2, 2021)

Weigh rats daily. Water for 30 min, ad lib food.

30 min water at 1430 daily.

Day 11: Conditioning Day (April 3 2021)

-15 min: half of rats injected with 0.15M Na Valproate 8ml/kg = 200mg/kg; other half 0.15M NaCl 8ml/kg 0 min: 30 min access to 0.125% saccharin (5 g sodium saccharin/4L water) 30 min: all rats injected with 0.15 M NaCl, 3 ml/kg ip. 40 min: half of rats injected with 0.15 M LiCl 3mlkg ip; other half of rats 0.15 M NaCl 3 ml/kg ip.

ad lib water returned after final injection overnight.

  • rats 1-8 : female, Rats 9-18: male
  • rats 1-4, 9-12: Valproate; rats 5-8,13-16 NaCl
  • All rats: saccharin
  • odd rats: 3ml/kg of 0.15M LiCl; odd rats: 3ml/kg of 0.15M NaCl

Days 12 - 23: Preference Tests (April 4 - April 16 , 2021)

Rats CTA acquisition and extinction was measured with 24-h, 2-bottle preference tests. Rats were given 24-h free access to both 0.125% saccharin and water bottles, alternating position for 12 days.