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Dev Psychobiol. 2006 Nov;48(7):520-7.

Early handling reduces vulnerability of rats to activity-based anorexia.

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Universidad de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


Resistance to restricted feeding with and without wheel access was tested in rats handled (H) for 20 days since birth. Weight loss produced by 1.5-hr restricted food access was less in H than in non-handled (NH) males when tested aged 41 days. At this age combining food restriction with access to a running wheel (a procedure commonly known as activity-based anorexia, ABA) produced very rapid weight loss and no effect of handling was detected. When 75-day females were tested in the same way, under the ABA procedure H rats took longer than NH controls to reach the removal criterion. Simply restricting food access in these females produced variable weight loss, without detection of any handling effect. No differences in food intake or running were detected between H and NH rats in either males or females. In conclusion, handling seems to have a direct effect on rats' later response to either food deprivation alone or to an ABA procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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