Effects of increasing brain GABA on the meal patterns of genetically obese vs. lean Zucker rats

D. V. Coscina, T. W. Castonguay, J. S. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


To explore recent suggestions that genetically obese Zucker rats show less anorexia when brain γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is elevated, obese vs. lean littermates received 100, 50 and 0 μg of the GABA-transaminase inhibitor, ethanolamine-O-sulfate (EOS). intra-cisternally in a longitudinal design where their feeding patterns were monitored 24 h daily. Obese rats were refractory to EOS-induced anorexia as evidenced by less suppression of daily food intake and fewer alterations to both meal size and meal frequency, particularly in the night. This effect was not due to an inability of EOS to increase brain GABA since equivalent, specific dose-dependent increments were seen in the brains of separate obese vs. lean rats after analysis of endogenous GABA and seven other amino acids. An unexpected finding was elevated levels of brain taurine for obese rats regardless of EOS dosage, implying a hitherto unknown neurochemical trait whose potential significance is unclear. The primary data obtained provide further support for recent hypotheses that obese Zucker rats possess altered brain GABAergic mechanisms that may serve as one contributor to their over-eating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-433
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acids
  • Circadian
  • Circadian
  • Ethanolamine-O-sulfate
  • Feeding
  • Meal frequency
  • Meal size
  • Taurine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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