Effects of dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei lesions on intake of an imbalanced amino acid diet. Academic Article uri icon


  • Within 3 h of ingesting an imbalanced amino acid diet (Imb), rats show attenuated intake, which can be ameliorated by prior administration of the serotonin receptor antagonist tropisetron (Trop). Earlier work in which the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMN) was electrolytically lesioned (DMNL) determined that this structure plays a role in the early detection of and subsequent adaptation to Imb. However, that study did not address whether cell bodies in the DMN, fibers of passage, or both were involved in the DMNL response to Imb. In the present investigation in experiment 1, rats were given electrolytic DMNL or a sham operation (Sham). The rats were injected with saline (Sal) or Trop just before introduction of Imb. By 3 h Sal-DMNL rats consumed more Imb than did the Sal-Sham rats; intake was normal by 12 h. Trop enhanced Imb intake, with Trop and DMNL being additive. By day 4 the DMNL rats were eating and gaining weight less than were Sham rats. In experiment 2, DMN cell bodies were destroyed by ibotenic acid (Ibo). Sal-injected Ibo-lesioned and Sham rats showed similar food intake depression on Imb; Trop similarly increased Imb intake in both groups. By day 4 both Ibo-L rats were eating and gaining weight less than were Sham rats. In experiment 3, groups of rats were given knife cuts posterior, lateral, ventral, dorsal, or anterior to the DMN. During the first 3 h of consuming Imb, all cuts except posterior enhanced the intake of Imb. Over the next 24 h the anterior cut group continued to eat more Imb than did the Sham rats. In experiment 4 DMNL rats were given novel diets; the DMNL rats did not display a neophilic response. The data suggest that fiber tracts that pass through the DMN may be involved in the early detection of Imb. DMN cell bodies, or fibers of passage, are not involved in the Trop effect. Finally, DMN cell bodies are necessary for proper long-term adaptation to Imb.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Bellinger, L. L., Evans, J. F., Tillberg, C. M., & Gietzen, D. W.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Bellinger, LL||Evans, JF||Tillberg, CM||Gietzen, DW

publication date

  • July 1999