A history of caloric restriction induces neurochemical and behavioral changes in rats consistent with models of depression

Academic Article


  • A history of dieting is common in individuals suffering from eating disorders for which depression and mood disturbances are also comorbid. We investigated the effect of a history of caloric restriction (HCR) in rats that involved cyclic food restriction and refeeding with varying levels of access to palatable food (PF) on: 1) responses to the SSRI, fluoxetine; 2) monoamine levels in brain regions central to the control of feeding, reward, and mood regulation; and 3) behavioral tests of anxiety and depression. HCR coupled with intermittent but not daily access to PF exaggerated rats' anorectic response to fluoxetine (p < 0.05); was associated with a significant 71% and 58% reduction of 5-HT and dopamine, respectively, in the medial prefrontal cortex; and induced behaviors consistent with models of depression. HCR, irrespective of access to PF, abolished the strong association between 5-HT and dopamine turnover in the nucleus accumbens in control rats (r = 0.71 vs. - 0.06, p < 0.01). Access to PF, irrespective of HCR, reduced hypothalamic dopamine. Together, these findings suggest that a history of frequent food restriction-induced weight fluctuation imposes neurochemical changes that negatively impact feeding and mood regulation. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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    Author List

  • Chandler-Laney PC; Castaneda E; Pritchett CE; Smith ML; Giddings M; Artiga AI; Boggiano MM
  • Start Page

  • 104
  • End Page

  • 114
  • Volume

  • 87
  • Issue

  • 1