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Obes Surg. 2013 Jul;23(7):920-30. doi: 10.1007/s11695-013-0884-4.

Roux en Y gastric bypass increases ethanol intake in the rat.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, Metabolic Diseases Institute, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


Roux en Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery is currently the most effective therapy employed to treat obesity and its associated complications. In addition to weight loss and resolution of metabolic syndromes, such as diabetes, the RYGB procedure has been reported to increase alcohol consumption in humans. Using an outbred rodent model, we demonstrate that RYGB increases postsurgical ethanol consumption, that this effect cannot be explained solely by postsurgical weight loss and that it is independent of presurgical body weight or dietary composition. Altered ethanol metabolism and postsurgical shifts in release of ghrelin were also unable to account for changes in alcohol intake. Further investigation of the potential physiological factors underlying this behavioral effect identified altered patterns of gene expression in brain regions associated with reward following RYGB surgery. These findings have important clinical implications as they demonstrate that RYGB surgery leads directly to increased alcohol intake in otherwise alcohol nonpreferring rat and induces neurobiological changes in brain circuits that mediate a variety of appetitive behaviors.

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