The spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) have enhanced palatability for NaCl taste as measured by the increased number of hedonic versus aversive responses to intraoral infusion (1 mL/1 min) of 0.3 M NaCl, in a taste reactivity test in euhydrated condition or after 24 h of water deprivation + 2 h of partial rehydration (WD-PR). SHRs also ingested more sucrose than normotensive rats, without differences in quinine hydrochloride intake. Here, we investigated the palatability of SHRs (n = 8–10) and normotensive Holtzman rats (n = 8–10) to sucrose and quinine sulphate infused intraorally in the same conditions that NaCl palatability was increased in SHRs. SHRs had similar number of hedonic responses to 2% sucrose in euhydrated condition (95 ± 19) or after WD-PR (142 ± 25), responses increased when compared with normotensive rats in euhydrated condition (13 ± 3) or after WD-PR (21 ± 6). SHRs also showed increased number of aversive responses to 1.4 mM quinine sulphate compared with normotensive rats, whether in euhydrated condition (86 ± 6, vs. normotensive: 54 ± 7) or after WD-PR (89 ± 9, vs. normotensive: 40 ± 9). The results suggest that similar to NaCl taste, sweet taste responses are increased in SHRs and resistant to challenges in bodily fluid balance. They also showed a more intense aversive response in SHRs to bitter taste compared with normotensives. This suggests that the enhanced response of SHRs to taste rewards does not correspond to a decreased response to a typical aversive taste.

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