Meal patterns and body weight after nicotine in male rats as a function of chow or high-fat diet.
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Studies of the effects of nicotine (NIC) on meal patterns in rats often employ chow pellet diets that contain little fat, whereas humans using NIC commonly consume diets relatively rich in fat. The aim of the present study was therefore to compare the impact of NIC administration and NIC cessation on meal pattern in adult male rats offered a standard powdered chow (CHOW: 10.9% fat by calories) diet or a palatable high-fat (HIFAT: 58.3% fat by calories) diet. Computerized meal pattern analyses were conducted for male rats treated for 14 days with injections of either saline or 1.4 mg/kg/day of NIC (as the free base given in 5 equal amounts) during the dark phase and continued for 10 days after NIC cessation. The suppression of daily caloric intake by NIC was larger in HIFAT-NIC rats than in CHOW-NIC rats (p < .01), such that NIC induced a greater suppression of body weight in HIFAT-NIC rats, relative to CHOW-NIC rats (p < 0.02). NIC administration reduced MS in both CHOW and HIFAT rats. CHOW fed rats showed a gradual increase in meal number in response to NIC, whereas HIFAT fed rats showed a significant initial suppression of meal number, which returned to control levels by day 4 of the 14 day NIC treatment period. In addition, NIC increased water intake more in HIFAT fed rats than in CHOW rats. Cessation of NIC resulted in transient increases in daily caloric intake in CHOW and in HIFAT rats. The present study demonstrates that NIC actions on food intake suppression, meal patterns, and weight reduction differ depending on whether the rats are fed low- or high-fat diets.