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Physiol Behav. 1999 Aug;67(2):243-8.

Effects of food deprivation and metabolic fuel utilization on food hoarding by jirds (Meriones shawi).

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1
Department of Biology, Neurobiology Program Georgia State University, Atlanta 30303, USA.

Abstract

Food hoarding plays an important role in the energetic repertoire of a variety of mammalian species. Both food hoarding and food intake have been examined in rodents using several energetic challenges including food deprivation, treatment with metabolic fuel blockers, and enhancement of fuel storage. In the present experiment, we examined food hoarding by female jirds (Meriones shawi), a desert rodent species occupying the arid steppes and desert regions of Egypt. Jirds are prodigious hoarders in the field; however, virtually nothing is known about their hoarding within controlled laboratory settings. In the present study, the effects of food deprivation as well as alterations in metabolic fuel utilization (i.e., 2-deoxy-D-glucose and isophane insulin) on food hoarding and food intake were tested in female jirds using a simulated burrow system. Jirds decreased body mass and increased food consumption following either 32 or 56-h food deprivation. Food hoarding, however, was virtually abolished after food deprivation and treatment with 2-DG. In contrast, isophane insulin treatment had no effect on food consumption or hoarding in this species. Taken together, the present results suggest that total body mass (fat), rather than short-term metabolic fuel utilization, regulates both food consumption and hoarding in female jirds. In addition, these results provide a novel set of appetitive responses to these energetic challenges in small mammals.

PMID:
10477056
DOI:
10.1016/s0031-9384(99)00066-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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