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Physiol Behav. 2008 Jun 9;94(3):309-15. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.01.008. Epub 2008 Jan 16.

After daily bingeing on a sucrose solution, food deprivation induces anxiety and accumbens dopamine/acetylcholine imbalance.

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1
Department of Psychology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.

Abstract

Bingeing on sugar may activate neural pathways in a manner similar to taking drugs of abuse, resulting in related signs of dependence. The present experiments test whether rats that have been bingeing on sucrose and then fasted demonstrate signs of opiate-like withdrawal. Rats were maintained on 12-h deprivation followed by 12-h access to a 10% sucrose solution and chow for 28 days, then fasted for 36 h. These animals spent less time on the exposed arm of an elevated plus-maze compared with a similarly deprived ad libitum chow group, suggesting anxiety. Microdialysis revealed a concomitant increase in extracellular acetylcholine and decrease in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens shell. These results did not appear to be due to hypoglycemia. The findings suggest that a diet of bingeing on sucrose and chow followed by fasting creates a state that involves anxiety and altered accumbens dopamine and acetylcholine balance. This is similar to the effects of naloxone, suggesting opiate-like withdrawal. This may be a factor in some eating disorders.

PMID:
18325546
PMCID:
PMC4354893
DOI:
10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.01.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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