Sugar Bingeing in Rats

Nicole M. Avena1, Pedro Rada1, Bartley G. Hoebel1

1 Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Unit Number:  Unit 9.23C
DOI:  10.1002/0471142301.ns0923cs36
Online Posting Date:  August, 2006
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Abstract

Bingeing behavior is characteristic of many eating disorders. This unit describes an animal model of sugar bingeing. This model has been used successfully to elicit behavioral and neurochemical signs of sugar dependence in rats, e.g., indices of bingeing, withdrawal, increased intake after abstinence (deprivation effect), cross‐sensitization with amphetamine, and increases in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens due to repeated bingeing.

Keywords: sucrose; eating disorder; dependence; food

     
 
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Table of Contents

  • Commentary
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
     
 
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Materials

Basic Protocol 1:

  Materials
  • Sucrose or glucose
  • Male or female rats (e.g., Sprague‐Dawley rats; Taconic Farms) weighing at least 250 g
  • Standard laboratory rodent chow
  • Scale accurate to 0.1 g
  • Hanging wire‐mesh cages (preferred) or plastic‐bottom cages with removable food hoppers (e.g., Allentown Caging Equipment)
  • Housing room with 12‐hr light/dark cycle, maintained at 21°C
  • 100‐ml graduated (in 1‐ml increments) drinking tubes: e.g., glass drinking tubes (Lab Products) or tubes made from 100‐ml polyethylene graduated cylinders (Fisher Scientific) by cutting off the flange and filing the top flat
  • Rubber stoppers with sipper tubes (steel‐ball tip valves preferred)
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Figures

Videos

Literature Cited

Literature Cited
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   Avena, N.M. and Hoebel, B.G. 2003. A diet promoting sugar dependency causes behavioral cross‐sensitization to a low dose of amphetamine. Neuroscience 122:17‐20.
   Avena, N.M., Carrillo, C.A., Needham, L., Leibowitz, S.F., and Hoebel, B.G. 2004. Sugar‐dependent rats show enhanced intake of unsweetened ethanol. Alcohol 34:203‐209.
   Avena, N.M., Long, K.A., and Hoebel, B.G. 2005. Sugar‐dependent rats show enhanced responding for sugar after abstinence: Evidence of a sugar deprivation effect. Physiol. Behav. 84:359‐362.
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   Colantuoni, C., Rada, P., McCarthy, J., Patten, C., Avena, N.M., Chadeayne, A., and Hoebel, B.G. 2002. Evidence that intermittent, excessive sugar intake causes endogenous opioid dependence. Obes. Res. 10:478‐488.
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   Rada, P., Avena, N.M., and Hoebel, B.G. 2005. Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the accumbens shell. Neuroscience 134:737‐744.
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