Repeated binge access to a palatable food alters feeding behavior, hormone profile, and hindbrain c-Fos responses to a test meal in adult male rats

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Abstract

Repetitive cycles of palatable food access and chronic calorie restriction alter feeding behaviors and forebrain neural systems. The purpose of this study was to determine the behavioral, endocrine, and meal-related hindbrain neural activation in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to a binge-access feeding schedule. The binge-access schedule consisted of repeated twice-per-week episodes of acute calorie restriction (to one-third of the previous day's intake) followed by 2 h of concurrent access to high-calorie palatable food (sweetened fat: 90% vegetable shortening-10% sucrose) and chow. The binge-access rats consumed more calories during the "binge" period than rats with continuous access to sweetened fat (continuous-access group) or subjected to repeated acute calorie restriction only (chow-restricted group). The binge-access group also exhibited a ∼25% increase in sweetened fat intake from week 1 to week 6. Persistence of the binge phenotype in the binge-access animals was demonstrated 2 wk, but not 4 wk, after ad libitum chow. The binge-access and chow-restricted groups maintained a similar normal body composition and hormonal profiles, whereas the continuous-access animals developed an obese phenotype. Terminal ghrelin levels were significantly higher in the binge-access group than in the continuous-access group. Consumption of a standardized meal resulted in more c-Fos-positive cells along the anterior-posterior nucleus of the solitary tract regions in the binge-access group than in naive controls. These results suggest that repeated cycles of acute calorie restriction followed by palatable food produce physiological alterations that may facilitate overconsumption of a highly palatable food during limited-access periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R622-R631
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Volume297
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

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Keywords

  • Area postrema
  • Binge eating
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Nucleus of the solitary tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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