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Am J Physiol. 1999 Nov;277(5 Pt 2):R1345-50.

Role of lipid type on morphine-stimulated diet selection in rats.

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  • 1Departments of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


Administration of morphine is said to increase fat consumption among rats allowed to self-select nutrients. However, fats represent a diverse group of molecules, differing in metabolic and sensory properties. Despite this, lipid has yet to be manipulated as a variable in drug-stimulated nutrient selection studies. To determine whether lipid source can impact daily and morphine-stimulated (1, 3, and 10 mg/kg) diet intake, rats were provided with a choice between a high-fat and high-carbohydrate diet in three regimens in which the source of fat was varied between vegetable shortening, lard, or corn oil. Daily and morphine-stimulated diet selections were determined under all conditions. Under daily feeding conditions, rats ate more of the high-lipid diet compared with the high-carbohydrate diet when vegetable shortening or lard was the main lipid alternative, but lipid and carbohydrate intake did not differ when corn oil was the main lipid alternative. When rats were stimulated with morphine, the percentage of lipid increased relative to baseline intake only when the lipid diets were the preferred alternatives (i.e., vegetable shortening or lard). When preference between lipid and carbohydrate diets was neutral (i.e., corn oil condition), morphine did not enhance lipid consumption. These results indicate that morphine increases consumption of total energy or preferred diets and not lipid per se.

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