Liquid diet preference in weanling rats with dorsomedial hypothalamic lesions. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two groups of weanling rats received bilateral electrolytic lesions in the ventromedial and dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei, respectively. Sham-operated animals served as controls. During 14 days post-operation, the intake of standard laboratory chow was measured. The rats then received, in addition to laboratory chow and tap water, a sweet, eggnog-type liquid diet for 17 days, during 14 of which food intake from both diets was measured daily. The liquid diet was then withdrawn and for two weeks laboratory chow was again the sole source of calories. During the availability of the liquid diet, both groups of rats with hypothalamic lesions profoundly reduced their intake of laboratory chow but conspicuously increased their consumption of liquid diet. The rats with dorsomedial lesions consumed as much liquid diet as the controls, while on laboratory chow alone they were highly significantly hypophagic compared with the controls. During the availability of the liquid diet the rats with dorsomedial lesions also became obese, but after the return to a period in which laboratory chow was the sole source of calories they lost this extra fat while again being hypophagic. It is suggested that the hypophagia observed in rats lesioned in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus is not due to a deficiency in caloric metering but rather, alternatively, to (a) aversion to dry food, (b) taste preference for a sweet, liquid diet, (c) a motivational deficit or (d) a motor deficit. 1976.

published proceedings

  • Neuroscience

author list (cited authors)

  • Bernardis, L. L., & Bellinger, L. L.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Bernardis, LL||Bellinger, LL

publication date

  • January 1976