Conditioned taste aversion and place preference with buspirone and gepirone

J. L. Neisewander, S. A. McDougall, S. L. Bowling, M. T. Bardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The effects of the nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytics buspirone and gepirone were compared to diazepam at 1, 3, and 10 mg/kg using the conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm. Buspirone and gepirone produced stronger CTA than diazepam (3 and 10 mg/kg) across repeated conditioning trials, indicating that these nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytics may have stronger aversive properties than diazepam. The effects of buspirone and gepirone (1 and 3 mg/kg) were also assessed using the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Both buspirone (1 and 3 mg/kg) and gepirone (3 mg/kg only) produced CPP, indicating that these drugs may have rewarding properties, and that buspirone is more potent than gepirone in producing CPP. These findings demonstrate that buspirone and gepirone have affective properties similar to abused drugs, and may therefore have abuse potential. It was also demonstrated that buspirone (3 mg/kg), but not gepirone (3 mg/kg), increased dopamine (DA) synthesis in the nucleus accumbens, a mesolimbic brain area thought to be involved in drug reward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-490
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Buspirone
  • Conditioned place preference
  • Conditioned taste aversion
  • Diazepam
  • Gepirone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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