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An operant determination of the behavioral mechanism of benzodiazepine enhancement of food intake

O'Hare, E., Kim, Eun-Mee and Tierney, K. J. (2006) An operant determination of the behavioral mechanism of benzodiazepine enhancement of food intake. PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, 187 (2). pp. 138-142. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1007/s00213-006-0412-5


Rationale: A recent review paper by Cooper (Appetite 44:133-150, 2005) has pointed out that a role for benzodiazepines as appetite stimulants has been largely overlooked. Cooper's review cited several studies that suggested the putative mechanism of enhancement of food intake after benzodiazepine administration might involve increasing the perceived pleasantness of food (palatability). Objectives: The present study examined the behavioral mechanism of increased food intake after benzodiazepine administration. Materials and Methods: The cyclic-ratio operant schedule has been proposed as a useful behavioral assay for differentiating palatability from regulatory effects on food intake (Ettinger and Staddon, Physiol Behav 29:455-458, 1982 and Behav Neurosci 97:639-653, 1983). The current study employed the cyclic-ratio schedule to determine whether the effects on food intake of chlordiazepoxide (CDP) (5.0 mg/kg), sodium pentobarbital (5.0 mg/kg), and picrotoxin (1.0 mg/kg) were mediated through palatability or regulatory processes. Results: The results of this study show that both the benzodiazepine CDP and the barbiturate sodium pentobarbital increased food intake in a manner similar to increasing the palatability of the ingestant, and picrotoxin decreased food intake in a manner similar to decreasing the palatability of the ingestant. Conclusions: These results suggest that the food intake enhancement properties of benzodiazepines are mediated through a mechanism affecting perceived palatability.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Psychology
Research Institutes and Groups:Psychology Research Institute > Behavioural Neuroscience and Behaviour Analysis
Psychology Research Institute
ID Code:1631
Deposited By: Mrs Fiona Harkin
Deposited On:23 Dec 2009 09:28
Last Modified:13 Mar 2012 16:34

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