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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1995 Aug;120(3):267-71.

Effects of neuropeptide Y, insulin, 2-deoxyglucose, and food deprivation on food-motivated behavior.

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Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


The current study demonstrates the ability of neuropeptide Y (NPY) to increase break points under a progressive ratio 1 (PR1) reinforcement schedule. An initial response resulted in delivery of a food reinforcer (45 mg pellet) under the PR1, and an additional response was required for each successive reinforcer. The break point, the number of responses emitted to obtain the last reinforcer, is considered a measure of reinforcing efficacy or motivational strength of the food reinforcer. NPY (0.3-10 micrograms) significantly increased break point to levels comparable to those produced by 36-48 h of food deprivation. Although insulin (3-8 U/kg) and 2-deoxyglucose (150-250 mg/kg) also increased food intake, neither increased break points to levels produced by NPY or food deprivation. These data suggest that NPY may change the value of food in ways that cannot be accounted for by changes in insulin, glucose levels or intracellular glucoprivation. These results emphasize that simply measuring the amount of freely available food eaten is not a fully adequate measure of the strength of the feeding behavior.

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