Document Detail

Nucleus accumbens opioids regulate flavor-based preferences in food consumption.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17049180     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Opioid signaling in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) regulates feeding behavior, having particularly strong effects on consumption of highly palatable foods. Since macronutrient content may contribute to palatability, it is uncertain whether opioid regulation of food consumption is based primarily on its macronutrient content or its flavor per se. In order to isolate the effect of flavor, we manipulated opioid signaling in the NAcc in rats and quantified consumption of differently flavored but nutritionally identical pellets. When pellets of either flavor were presented alone, microinjection of d-Ala(2),N,Me-Phe(4),Gly-ol(5)-enkephalin (DAMGO (a mu opioid receptor (MOP) agonist)) into the NAcc increased consumption of pellets of both flavors equally. When both flavors of pellets were presented simultaneously, however, DAMGO in the NAcc selectively increased, while naltrexone (a non-selective opioid antagonist) in the NAcc selectively decreased, consumption of the more preferred flavor. Systemic naltrexone injection had no flavor specific effects, decreasing consumption of both flavors equally. Non-selective inactivation of NAcc neurons by local microinjection of muscimol (a GABA(A) agonist) increased consumption of both the more- and less-preferred flavors equally. These results indicate that opioid signaling directly regulates a subset of NAcc neurons that can selectively enhance consumption of preferred palatable foods based exclusively on flavor cues.
J D Woolley; B S Lee; H L Fields
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Neuroscience     Volume:  143     ISSN:  0306-4522     ISO Abbreviation:  Neuroscience     Publication Date:  2006 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-11-07     Completed Date:  2007-01-26     Revised Date:  2013-05-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7605074     Medline TA:  Neuroscience     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  309-17     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center and the Wheeler Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Analgesics, Opioid / metabolism*,  pharmacology
Analysis of Variance
Behavior, Animal / drug effects
Eating / drug effects,  physiology*
Enkephalin, Ala(2)-MePhe(4)-Gly(5)- / pharmacology
Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
Flavoring Agents / pharmacology
Naltrexone / pharmacology
Narcotic Antagonists / pharmacology
Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects,  physiology*
Rats, Long-Evans
Reinforcement (Psychology)*
Time Factors
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Analgesics, Opioid; 0/Flavoring Agents; 0/Narcotic Antagonists; 100929-53-1/Enkephalin, Ala(2)-MePhe(4)-Gly(5)-; 16590-41-3/Naltrexone

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