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Neuroreport. 2004 Aug 26;15(12):1857-60.

The amygdala is critical for opioid-mediated binge eating of fat.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 6001 Research Park Blvd, Madison, WI 53719, USA.


Endogenous opioid peptides within the nucleus accumbens are thought to mediate the hedonic aspects of food intake, particularly foods such as fat and sugar. In view of evidence that the amygdala also regulates positive affect, we hypothesized this brain region participates in the control of opioid-mediated food intake. The robust increase in the intake of fat following intra-accumbens administration of the mu-opioid agonist D-Ala2,Nme-Phe4,Glyol5-enkephalin (DAMGO) was completely blocked by concurrent temporary inactivation (muscimol, GABA(A) agonist) of either the basolateral or central nucleus of the amygdala. In summary, we demonstrate that amygdala inactivation prevents the intra-accumbens opioid induced "binge" eating of fat, possibly through reducing the hedonic properties of high-fat palatable food.

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