Effects of sibutramine and rimonabant in rats trained to discriminate between 22- and 2-h food deprivation

David C. Jewett, Thomas W. Hahn, Travis R. Smith, Britta L. Fiksdal, Jason M. Wiebelhaus, Andrew R. Dunbar, Catherine R. Filtz, Noah L. Novinska, Allen S. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate whether sibutramine and rimonabant, drugs that decrease food intake in human and non-human animals, affect the discriminative stimulus effects associated with acute food deprivation ("hunger"). Materials and methods: Rats were trained to discriminate between 22- and 2-h food deprivation in a two-lever choice procedure. After rats acquired the discrimination, subjects were food-restricted for 22 h and administered with sibutramine (0.32-10 mg/kg, p.o.) or rimonabant (0.32-10 mg/kg, s.c.) before a generalization test session. Results: Sibutramine (3.2 mg/kg) produced significant decreases in 22-h deprivation-appropriate responding, response rates (resulting in lever pressing rates similar to those following 2-h food deprivation), and food intake measured 1 h after the generalization test. A larger sibutramine dose eliminated responding and significantly reduced food intake. Rimonabant did not alter the discriminative stimulus effects of 22-h food deprivation, but rimonabant did significantly reduce both response rates and food intake. Conclusion: Sibutramine appears to decrease food intake by reducing hunger sensations associated with food deprivation. In contrast, rimonabant does not alter the discrimination of acute food deprivation. The use of food-deprivation discrimination techniques may be useful in identifying the role of specific neuroactive compounds in eating stimulated by a sense of hunger and may aid in medication development for more effective treatments for obesity and other eating-related conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-459
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug discrimination
  • Feeding
  • Food intake
  • Operant behavior
  • Rimonabant
  • Sibutramine


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