Enhancement of Pavlovian conditioned immunosuppression in rats
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The goal of this study was to define conditions under which conditioned immunosuppression may be observed reliably. In three experiments, rats were exposed to a gustatory conditioned stimulus (CS) paired with cyclophosphamide (US), which induces immunosuppression and malaise. In Experiment 1, a single pairing of the CS with low, medium, or high doses of cyclophosphamide in separate groups produced no reliable conditioned immunosuppression even though conditioned taste aversion was observed in groups trained with high and medium doses of CY. Experiment 2 replicated the lack of effect following a single pairing of the CS with the medium dose of cyclophosphamide but demonstrated that three pairings are sufficient to induce conditioned immunosuppression. Experiment 3 demonstrated that significant immunosuppression is observable following a single CS?US pairing if the CS is presented in compound with a previously nonreinforced CS during training, an effect reminiscent of supernormal conditioning. These findings indicate that conditioned immunosuppression effects can be enhanced in magnitude through the use of certain procedural techniques.
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Edgar H. Vogel, University of Talca, School of Psychology, Casilla No 747, Talca, Chile