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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1986 Jun;24(6):1775-7.

Effects of dietary fat on pain threshold, thermoregulation and motor activity in rats.


Groups of young male Sprague-Dawley (albino) or Long-Evans (hooded) rats were fed the same semi-purified diets containing 20% (w/w) fat in the form of soybean oil vs. lard, or a reference diet of standard Purina Chow (4.5% mixed fats) for 21 days. Behavioral testing after this time revealed that albino rats fed the diet containing soybean oil had increased paw-lick latencies on a 58 degrees C hot plate compared to chow-fed rats. In addition, both strains fed the diet containing soybean oil were protected from hypothermia induced by placing animals in a 4 degrees C cold room for 60 min following systemic injection of 10-15 mg/kg d-amphetamine. Rats of both strains fed the lard diet displayed paw-lick latencies similar to those shown by rats fed chow and hypothermic changes intermediary to those shown by rats fed soybean oil vs. chow diets. Horizontal crossings as well as rearings in a 15 min test of open field activity were the same for all diet groups within strains. No substantial differences were observed in the number of calories consumed, amount of body weight gained or basal colonic temperatures across diet conditions. The results suggest that a soybean oil-based diet can alter physiological mechanisms which mediate these indices of pain perception and thermoregulation. More generally, they indicate that qualitative changes in dietary fat content may be capable of altering certain behavioral states.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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