Male albino rats were subjected to: a) 24 hr water deprivation and b) a Combined treatment producing cellular and extracellular dehydration, and several behavioral and physiological dimensions were analyzed. In Experiment 1, the Combined treatment (5 cm3of 25% polyethylene glycol solution, 3 1/2 hr delay, and 1.5 cm3of 16% NaCI solution) was found to mimic water deprivation induced drinking patterns and total water intake. In Experiment 2, plasma osmolality and protein concentration were elevated to identical levels at the onset of drinking following 24 hr water deprivation and the Combined treatment. While the ingestion of water eventually returned the vascular measures to ad lib. levels for both treatments, the two treatments exhibited a differential time-course of vascular change. In Experiment 3, 24 hr water deprivation and the Combined treatment resulted in similar latencies to respond on an FR-2 operant task, however, the total number and patterns of reinforcements received differed between the two treatments. The results are discussed with reference to the feasibility of describing water deprivation in terms of a combined state of hypovolemia and cellular dehydration. © 1975 Academic Press, Inc.
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