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Merluzzi AP, Hurwitz Z, Briscione M, Cobuzzi J, Wetzell B, Rice K, Riley A. 
“Differential Expression of MDPV-Induced Taste Aversions and Thermoregulation in Adolescent and Adult Rats”. 
FASEB Journal. 2013 Apr;1098(17).
As with all drugs of abuse, MDPV, a primary constituent in "bath salts," is rewarding in rats. Yet little is known of its aversive effects, those which limit drug intake. Accordingly, the present experiment examined the ability of MDPV to induce taste aversions, an indicator of drug toxicity. Given the reported age differences in the sensitivity to the aversive effects of drugs, this assessment was made in adolescents and adults. Both groups were given access to a novel saccharin solution and then injected with various doses of MDPV. In addition, thermoregulatory changes were also observed following MDPV administration. Adolescent rats acquired significantly weaker taste aversions than adults and did so at a slower rate. Adolescent rats also showed a distinct hypothermic response compared to the adults. These results extend the findings with other drugs of abuse for which adolescents exhibit weaker aversions and different physiological responses following drug administration, possibly indicating an increased vulnerability. This research was supported in part by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, the Robyn Rafferty Scholarship and American University’s Scholars and Artists Fellowship.
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