Dorsomedial hypothalamic lesions alter intake of an imbalanced amino acid diet in rats.
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Within 3 h of ingesting an imbalanced amino acid diet (IAAD), rats show attenuated intake. The associated conditioned taste aversion can be ameliorated by giving the serotonin3 receptor blocker, tropisetron (TROP). A recent c-fos study indicated that the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMN) may be activated 2-3 h after ingestion of IAAD. In Experiment 1, DMN-lesioned rats (DMNL) or sham-operated (SHAM) rats were injected with saline (SAL) or TROP just before introduction of IAAD. By 3 h, SAL-DMNL rats consumed more (P < 0.01) of the IAAD than did the SAL-SHAM rats. Thereafter, over the next 21 h, the intake of the SAL-DMNL group returned to control levels. TROP treatment enhanced the intake of the treated groups; the TROP and the lesion effect were additive (P < 0.01). By d 4 of receiving the IAAD, the DMNL groups were eating less than SHAM rats (P < 0.05). The data suggest that the DMN may be involved in the early detection of the amino acid deficiency induced by IAAD, is not involved in the TROP effect and is necessary for proper long-term adaptation to an IAAD.