Effect of adrenalectomy and corticosterone replacement on meal patterns of Zucker rats

M. R. Freedman, T. W. Castonguay, J. S. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Male obese and lean Zucker rats were adrenalectomized (ADX) or sham-operated at 10 wk of age. Approximately 16 wk later, patterns of food intake were monitored by computer-interfaced top loading balances. Data were collected from ADX rats before, during, and after access to corticosterone-supplemented saline solution (20 μg/ml). Although total food intake during the precorticosterone treatment period was not different between ADX and sham controls, ADX resulted in attentuation of light cycle food intake, primarily via decreased meal frequency. With steroid replacement, light cycle meal frequency and food intake increased. Despite comparable self-administered dose (20.33 ± 0.89 vs. 17.05 ± 1.2 mg corticosterone/period, obese vs. lean), obese ADX rats were more responsive to steroid than were lean ADX rats. This increased responsiveness was reflected by a 30% increase in food intake and 60% increase in body weight gain of obese ADX rats during replacement. Lean ADX rats exhibited no change in total food intake or weight gain with replacement. Further, during corticosterone treatment, obese ADX rats increased meal frequency, total food intake, and consumption of large meals (≥4 g) during the dark cycle. Significant postprandial correlations were found only in obese ADX rats, both with and without replacement during the dark cycle. These results suggest adrenal glucocorticoids have a minimal effect on food intake and meal patterns in lean Zucker rats but significantly alter intake and meal patterns in obese rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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