This task assesses the animal’s interest in a sweet-tasting sucrose solution relative to unsweetened water. Sucrose preference testing is carried out in the animals home cage. They must be singly housed during this task in order to get accurate readings.
For the task, mice are presented with 2 dual bearing sipper tubes. One tube contains plain drinking water, and the second contains a 2-4% sucrose solution. Prior to beginning testing, mice are habituated to the presence of two drinking bottles (one containing 2% sucrose and the other water) for 3 days in their home cage. Following this acclimation, mice have the free choice of either drinking the 2% sucrose solution or plain water for a period of 4 days. Water and sucrose solution intake is measured daily, and the positions of two bottles is switched daily to reduce any confound produced by a side bias.
Sucrose preference is calculated as a percentage of the volume of sucrose intake over the total volume of fluid intake and averaged over the 4 days of testing.