Direct, Continuous Behavioral Analysis of Drug Action on Feeding

Simon Goodson1, Jason Halford2, John Blundell3

1 University of Sheffield, Sheffield, 2 University of Liverpool, Liverpool, 3 University of Leeds, Leeds
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Unit Number:  Unit 8.6C
DOI:  10.1002/0471142301.ns0806cs29
Online Posting Date:  November, 2004
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Analysis of rodent feeding behavior during the study of anorectic drugs reveals that contextual variables such as type of food, drug, environment, and physiological state influence food intake. Temporal changes in behavior can signal the onset of a feeding modulation process, as is the case with anorectic drugs acting on distinct neurochemical mechanisms that change temporal behavioral profiles. Comparing the effects of anorectic agents in controlled animal assays can identify potential therapeutic drugs that may influence human eating behavior. This unit specifies the materials and procedures required for continuously monitoring the Behavioral Satiety Sequence, as well as a device for continuous, automatic measurement of the mass of food consumption by the animal during behavioral monitoring called the RUEMA (Rat Universal Eating Monitor Apparatus).

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Table of Contents

  • Strategic Planning
  • Commentary
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
  • Tables
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Basic Protocol 1:

  • 12 male rats, 275 g ± 30 g each
  • 32% wet mash diet, hydrated: 2 parts water to 1 part CRM X (Labsure Products, UK); or equivalent
  • Wood shavings
  • Glass tank, 60 cm × 30 cm × 45 cm high
  • Tap water available from a drinking tube mounted on the cage wall
  • Glass food bowl, 70 mm in diameter and 40 mm in height
  • Two black/white video cameras (JVC B/W Model TK S350)
  • Image merger (JVC video effector model TK C50E)
  • Monochrome video monitor
  • Video recorder (Sony SVO model 140PA)
  • PC computer (minimum 486 with 8 Mbytes RAM, 560‐Mbyte hard drive)
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Literature Cited

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   Blundell, J.E. and Alikhan, H. 1990. Analyzing the structure and sequence of feeding in animals and man. In Microcomputers, Psychology and Medicine (W.M. Christie and J. Weinman, eds.) pp. 203‐225. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
   Blundell, J.E. and Latham, C.J. 1978. Pharmacological manipulations of feeding behavior: Possible influences of serotonin and dopamine on food intake. In Central Mechanisms of Anorectic Drugs (S. Garattini and R. Samanin, eds.) pp. 83‐109. Raven Press, New York.
   Blundell, J.E. and Latham, C.J. 1980. Characteristic adjustments to the structure of feeding behaviour following pharmacological treatments: Effects of amphetamine and fenfluramine and the antagonism produce by pimozide and metergoline. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 12:717‐722.
   Blundell, J.E. and McArther, R.A. 1981. Behavioural flux and feeding: Continuous monitoring of food intake and food selection, and the video‐recording of appetitive and satiety sequences for the analysis of drug action. In Anorectic Agents: Mechanisms of Action and Tolerance (R. Samanin and S. Garattini, eds.) pp. 19‐43. Raven Press, New York.
   Blundell, J.E., Rogers, P.J., and Hill, A.J. 1985. Behavioural structure and mechanisms of anorexia: Calibration of normal and abnormal inhibition of eating. Brain Res. Bull. 15:319‐326.
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   Goodson, S. 2003. The effects of diet on body weight and the Behavioural Satiety Sequence. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Leeds, Leeds, U.K.
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   Halford, J.C.G. 1994. Analysis of the Behaviour Associated with Drug Induced Anorexia in the Rat. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Leeds, Leeds, U.K.
   Halford, J.C.G. and Blundell, J.E. 1993. 5‐Hydroxytryptaminergic drugs compared on the behavioural satiety sequence. Br. J. Pharmacol. 100(Suppl.):95.
   Halford, J.C.G. and Blundell, J.E. 1996a. The 5‐HT1B receptor agonist CP‐94,253 reduces food intake and preserves the behavioural satiety sequence. Physiol. Behav. 60:933‐939.
   Halford, J.C.G. and Blundell, J.E. 1996b. Metergoline antagonizes fluoxetine‐induced suppression of food intake but not changes in the behavioural satiety sequence. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 54:745‐751.
   Halford, J.C.G., Heal, D.J., and Blundell, J.E. 1995. Effects in the rat of sibutramine on food intake and the behavioural satiety sequence. Br. J. Pharmacol. 114(Suppl.):387.
   Halford, J.C.G., Lawton, C.L., and Blundell, J.E. 1997. The 5‐HT2 receptor agonist MK‐212 reduces food intake and increases resting but prevents the behavioural satiety sequence. Pharmacol.Biochem. Behav. 56:41‐46.
   Hartley, J.E., Greenough, A., Brown, G., and Fletcher, A. 1994. The effect of 8‐OH‐DPAT on feeding in the mouse. J. Pharmacol. 105(Suppl):A27.
   Hendrie, C.A. and Bennett, S. 1984. A microcomputer technique for the detailed analyses of animal behaviour. Physiol. Behav. 32:865‐870.
   Kirkham, T.C. and Blundell, J.E. 1984. Dual action of naloxone on feeding revealed by behavioural analysis: Separate effects on initiation and termination of eating. Appetite 5:45‐52.
   Nachman, M. and Hartley, P.L. 1975. Role of illness in producing learned taste aversions in rats: A comparison of several rodenticides. J. Comp. Physiol. Psych. 89:1010‐1018.
   Powell, J., Martindale, B., Kulp, S., Martindale, A., and Bauman, R. 1977. Taking a closer look: Time sampling and measurement error. J. Appl. Behav. Anal. 10:325‐332.
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Key References
   Gottman, J.M. and Roy, A.K. 1990. Sequential Analysis: A Guide for Behavioral Researchers. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.
  Good researcher's guide detailing the collection and analysis of sequential behavioral data.
   Martin, P. and Bateson, P. 1993. Measuring Behaviour: An Introductory Guide, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.
  Basic student text covering the same areas.
   Suen, H.K. and Ary, D. 1989. Analyzing Quantitative Behavioral Data. Lawrence Erbaum Associates, Hillsdale, N.J.
  Advanced text covering the same areas.
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