Paraventricular opioids alter intake of high-fat but not high-sucrose diet depending on diet preference in a binge model of feeding

Amy M. Naleid, Martha K. Grace, Munya Chimukangara, Charles J. Billington, Allen S. Levine

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76 Scopus citations


Previous work from our laboratory indicates that when rats are given a choice between a high-fat and a high-sucrose diet, opioid blockade with naltrexone (NTX) in a reward-related site (central amygdala) inhibits intake of the preferred diet only, whereas NTX injected into a homeostasis-related site, such as the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), inhibits intake of both diets. However, other work suggests that opioids increase intake of fat specifically. The present study further investigates the role of PVN opioids in food choices made by calorically-replete animals. We used a binge model with chow-maintained rats given 3-h access to a choice of a high-fat or high-sucrose diet 3 days a week. We hypothesized that intra-PVN injection of the μ-opioid agonist, DAMGO (0, 0.025, 0.25, and 2.5 nmol) would enhance, and NTX (0, 10, 30, and 100 nmol) would inhibit intake of both diets to an equal extent. We found that when animals were divided into groups according to sucrose or fat preference, DAMGO increased fat intake in fat-consuming animals, while having no effect on intake of either diet in sucrose-consuming animals. NTX, however, inhibited fat intake in both groups. Intra-PVN NTX did not inhibit intake of sucrose when presented in the absence of a fat choice, but did so when injected peripherally. Furthermore, intra-PVN and systemic NTX inhibited intake of chow by 24-h-food-deprived animals. These results indicate a complex role for PVN opioids in food intake with preference, nutrient type, and energy state affecting the ability of these compounds to change behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R99-R105
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Choice
  • Naltrexone
  • Palatability
  • Paraventricular nucleus
  • Reward


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