Author(s): CorySlechta DA, Weiss B
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Abstract Weanling rats were given cadmium chloride solutions as drinking water (0, 25, 50 or 150 ppm Cd). Immediate decrements in fluid consumption and retarded weight gain were observed at the highest concentration. In addition, two of the 150 ppm rats died within four days. The rapid onset of these effects suggested taste aversion and sharply reduced water intake, not physiological impairment, as the cause. To test this possibility, rats were given a choice between two drinking water solutions. One contained distilled water, the other cadmium. Concentrations as low as 1 ppm were rejected by some rats. Additional studies showed that chronic cadmium exposure modified the intake pattern of saccharin solutions typical of rats, and that the addition of saccharin to the 150 ppm cadmium solution did not reduce its aversive properties. These data indicated that the taste of cadmium, at least in solution, is aversive to rats. Since taste aversion can reduce fluid and food consumption, and consequently body weight, properly designed experiments must include adequate control procedures such as pair-feeding and pair-watering to differentiate unique effects of cadmium from those produced by undernutrition.
This article was published in Neurotoxicology
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access