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Physiol Behav. 2003 Feb;78(2):285-94.

Selective effects of vagal deafferentation and celiac-superior mesenteric ganglionectomy on the reinforcing and satiating action of intestinal nutrients.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College and the Graduate School, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889, USA.


The role of vagal afferents and splanchnic fibers in nutrient-induced flavor conditioning and feeding suppression was determined. Male rats were fitted with intraduodenal (ID) catheters and given subdiaphragmatic vagal deafferentation (SDA), celiac-superior mesenteric ganglionectomy (CGX), combined (COM) treatments, or sham surgery. In separate conditioning trials, they were trained to drink (30 min/day) flavored saccharin solutions paired with concurrent ID infusions of 8% maltodextrin or water and 3.55% corn oil or water. Experiment 1 revealed that SDA and sham rats showed equal preferences for the nutrient-paired flavors over the water-paired flavors. In contrast, SDA rats, unlike sham rats, failed to suppress their intake of a palatable fluid when infused intraduodenally with maltodextrin or corn oil. Experiment 2 revealed that CGX, COM and sham rats all developed preferences for the maltodextrin-paired flavor, although CGX alone or COM attenuated the conditioned preference. CGX and COM treatments also attenuated or blocked the feeding inhibitory actions of ID nutrient infusions. These findings along with prior data indicate that gut vagal afferents and splanchnic nerves are not essential for flavor-nutrient preference conditioning, whereas both vagal afferents and splanchnic nerves are implicated in carbohydrate- and fat-induced satiation.

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