To assess the effectiveness of a pharmacological cue as a conditional stimulus in the Pavlovian model of drug tolerance, two groups of Wistar rats received equal numbers of IP injections of a low and a high dose of alcohol. One group (Paired) received a low dose (0.8 g/kg) of alcohol followed 60 min later by the high dose (2.5 g/kg). Another group (Unpaired) received the low and high doses on an unpaired basis. When tested for tolerance to the hypothermic effect of the high dose of alcohol, only the Paired group showed tolerance, and only if the low dose preceded the high. When a saline injection preceded the high dose injection, the Paired group showed a loss of tolerance. The Paired group also showed a compensatory hyperthermia following the low dose injection. Animals from the Paired group that received repeated administrations of the low dose followed by saline, showed a significant extinction effect as compared with animals that received repeated saline injections only. These findings support the Pavlovian model of conditional tolerance, extending the realm of effective conditional stimuli to include a low dose of a drug.
- Conditional stimuls