Skip to main content

Using monosodium glutamate to initiate ethanol self‐administration in inbred mouse strains

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)



Voluntary oral ethanol consumption in rodents is generally limited by strong taste‐aversion in these species. Historically, this has been overcome by combining ethanol with a sweetener, typically sucrose or saccharine, and then slowly ‘fading’ away the sweetener. While useful in most instances, this approach has not proven as successful for some inbred strains of mice (e.g. DBA/2J) despite consistent evidence in the literature that these same strains express strong conditioned place preference for intraperitoneal‐ or intragastric‐administered ethanol. Importantly, DBA/2J mice express a polymorphism in a ‘sweet’ taste receptor subunit gene that reduces the potency of sweet substances in these mice. We hypothesized that the presence of this polymorphism might help explain the contrasting behavioral findings of weak voluntary oral ethanol consumption following sucrose‐fade yet robust conditioned place preference for ethanol in this strain. To test this, we compared ethanol consumption initiated by either a ‘traditional’ sucrose‐fade or a fade from an alternative tastant, monosodium glutamate (MSG). We found that in both C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice, the MSG‐fade produced robust increases in home cage ethanol consumption relative to the traditional sucrose‐fade. This increased ethanol intake following MSG‐fade was evident across a range of ethanol concentrations. Our findings suggest the potential utility of the MSG‐fade to establish stable voluntary oral ethanol consumption in mice, particularly ethanol ‘non‐preferring’ strains such as DBA/2J and lend additional support to the notion that ethanol consumption in DBA/2J mice is limited by pronounced taste aversion.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Translational Center for the Neurobehavioral Study on Alcohol and the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, USA

Publication date: 2012-01-01

  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more