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Appetite. 1986 Mar;7(1):1-17.

Specific postoperative syndromes after total and selective vagotomies in the rat.


Male Sprague-Dawley rats which survived bilateral subdiaphragmatic vagotomy (with hepatic branch intact) exhibited an acute syndrome of hypophagia, hypodipsia and severe loss of body weight when maintained on solid food and water for 14 days after vagotomy. This postvagotomy syndrome was attenuated when rats were maintained on a liquid diet (116EC) chosen to minimize postvagotomy dysphagia and abnormal gastric retention of food; vagotomized rats were hypophagic and lost body weight, but the degree of weight loss was not so severe as for vagotomized rats eating solid food. When rats with total subdiaphragramatic vagotomy were maintained on palatable sweet milk food, the acute postvagotomy syndrome was abolished; these vagotomized rats ate and drank as much as rats with sham vagotomy and they did not lose weight. When rats that underwent selective hepatic, gastric or coeliac vagotomy were maintained on the sweet milk diet, three different postoperative syndromes occurred: after selective hepatic vagotomy, rats were hyperphagic, hyperdipsic and gained body weight at a greater than normal rate; after selective gastric vagotomy, rats lost weight despite relatively normal food and water intakes; and after selective coeliac vagotomy, there was no change in food or water intakes or body weight. These results demonstrate that a sweet milk diet abolishes the anorexia, hypodipsia and weight loss that usually occur in vagotomized rats maintained on pellets and water. Use of this sweet milk diet revealed different acute syndromes after bilateral and selective vagotomies. The differences among the syndromes suggest that hepatic, gastric and coeliac vagal branches serve different functions in the control of food and water intake and body weight.

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