Effect of i.c.v. infusion of the alpha-MSH agonist MTII on meal patterns in male rats following nicotine withdrawal. Academic Article uri icon


  • The present study explored the role of endogenous alpha-MSH in the alteration of meal patterns induced by nicotine (NIC) withdrawal. Male Sprague Dawley rats bearing third ventricle cannulas were placed in computerized food intake monitors. On days 1-21, the rats were given 4 mg/kg/day of NIC or saline (SAL) in four equal i.p. doses during the dark period. NIC suppressed (P < 0.05) food intake only during the first week. The normalization of food intake occurred when the reduced meal size of the NIC injected rats was countered by an increase in meal number. Despite the normalization of 24-h food intake, body weight in NIC rats was decreased (P < 0.05) for 21 days. On day 22, the rats were divided into 4 groups (n's = 7-8 each) and injected into the third ventricle with various doses of the alpha-MSH agonist MTII or artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF): SAL + aCSF, SAL + MTII, NIC + aCSF, NIC + MTII. Infusion of MTII (30 ng/rat) suppressed (P < 0.01) dark phase food intake in both groups, but the NIC + MTII group ate (P < 0.05) more than the SAL + MTII group. Meal number during the dark phase was suppressed by MTII, but the NIC + MTII group took significantly more meals that the SAL + MTII group. Infusion of MTII suppressed meal size in SAL and NIC treated rats, but this effect was attenuated in NIC treated rats. All meal parameters normalized by the day after i.c.v. infusion. These data indicate that NIC treatment differentially affects the neural controls of meal number and meal size and attenuates the suppression by MTII of meal number and meal size.

published proceedings

  • Life Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Bellinger, L., Cepeda-Benito, A., Bullard, R. L., & Wellman, P. J.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Bellinger, Larry||Cepeda-Benito, Antonio||Bullard, Richard L||Wellman, Paul J

publication date

  • January 2003