Expression of c-fos is increased in the central amygdaloid nucleus (CE) of rats ingesting a diet with a severely imbalanced essential amino acid profile (IMB), at a time associated with development of a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). The CE and the basolateral amygdaloid nucleus (BL) both are reported to be involved in the development of CTA. Large amygdaloid lesions involving CE and BL mitigate the normal decrease in intake of IMB; this treatment also impairs CTA to a flavor cue associated with gastrointestinal discomfort. To differentiate their potential roles in aversive responses to IMB, we electrolytically lesioned CE and BL separately. Neither lesion attenuated IMB-induced anorexia, or prevented the avoidance of flavored solutions previously paired with IMB. In contrast, after saccharin-LiCl pairing, CE-lesioned animals showed attenuated CTA to saccharin solution in a two-bottle test. We conclude that neither the CE nor the BL is essential for the reduction of IMB intake, or for CTA associated with IMB. Furthermore, these results suggest that the aversive consequences of IMB intake do not involve gastrointestinal malaise-evoked neurotransmission involving the CE.
- Amino acids
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience