Leptin reverses sucrose-conditioned place preference in food-restricted rats

Dianne P. Figlewicz, Michael S. Higgins, Scott B. Ng-Evans, Peter J Havel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Previous studies have suggested that food restriction can modify performance in the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. In the present study, we tested the hypotheses that food restriction would enhance the development of a CPP to low-calorie sucrose pellets and that peripheral leptin replacement in food-restricted animals would reverse this effect. Using a range of 45-mg sucrose pellets (0-15 pellets) as a reward, we observed that a significant place preference was conditioned in food-restricted, but not ad libitum-fed rats. This CPP was reversed either by treatment of food-restricted rats with the dopamine receptor antagonist α-flupenthixol (200 μg/kg ip) during the training protocol or by chronic subcutaneous replacement of leptin (125 μg/kg/day) that attenuated the food restriction-induced decrease of circulating leptin. We conclude that dopaminergic signaling and the fall of plasma leptin concentrations contribute to the CPP of food-restricted rats. This finding suggests that in addition to metabolic adaptations, hypoleptinemia results in behavioral adaptations during states of energy deprivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-234
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Dopamine
  • Leptin
  • Place preference
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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