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Behav Neural Biol. 1987 Sep;48(2):278-303.

Mechanisms underlying satiation of feeding behavior of the mollusc Aplysia.

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Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University, New York, NY.


Animals filled almost to satiation by nonnutritive bulk do not satiate when they ingest a small amount of seaweed. This suggests that satiation is not triggered by chemostimulation of an anteriorly located "hot spot." Inflation of a balloon placed in the gut of the animal results in satiation as reflected in a number of different parameters of feeding behavior. The suppressive effect of a relatively brief inflation is rapidly and fully reversible, although repeated inflation and deflation appeared to produce slowly reversible or irreversible effects. The parameters of the changes in feeding during gut inflation are comparable to those of normal animals that are slowly fed individual pieces of food. The inflation volume needed to satiate the animal is a function of the rate of inflation--more rapid inflations requiring larger volumes. Cutting of the esophageal nerves results in a significant increase in the volume needed to satiate the animals, but nevertheless they eventually cease feeding and generally do not show a burst gut. The evidence indicates that the satiation that eventually occurs in nerve-sectioned animals, at least in part, is due to depression of feeding following very prolonged sensory stimulation. The data suggest that for a rapidly consumed meal, satiation results primarily due to distension-related gut signals conveyed by the esophageal nerves, whereas for very slowly consumed meals, the former factor interacts with a process associated with sensory stimulation, such as receptor adaptation. The current results indicate that balloon distension can serve as a reasonable stimulus in experiments in simplified preparations in which the nervous system can be studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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