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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X


SILVEIRA, P.P. et al. Interaction between repeated restraint stress and concomitant midazolam administration on sweet food ingestion in rats. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2000, vol.33, n.11, pp.1343-1350. ISSN 1414-431X.

Emotional changes can influence feeding behavior. Previous studies have shown that chronically stressed animals present increased ingestion of sweet food, an effect reversed by a single dose of diazepam administered before testing the animals. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the response of animals chronically treated with midazolam and/or submitted to repeated restraint stress upon the ingestion of sweet food. Male adult Wistar rats were divided into two groups: controls and exposed to restraint 1 h/day, 5 days/week for 40 days. Both groups were subdivided into two other groups treated or not with midazolam (0.06 mg/ml in their drinking water during the 40-day treatment). The animals were placed in a lighted area in the presence of 10 pellets of sweet food (Froot loops®). The number of ingested pellets was measured during a period of 3 min, in the presence or absence of fasting. The group chronically treated with midazolam alone presented increased ingestion when compared to control animals (control group: 2.0 ± 0.44 pellets and midazolam group: 3.60 ± 0.57 pellets). The group submitted to restraint stress presented an increased ingestion compared to controls (control group: 2.0 ± 0.44 pellets and stressed group: 4.18 ± 0.58 pellets). Chronically administered midazolam reduced the ingestion in stressed animals (stressed/water group: 4.18 ± 0.58 pellets; stressed/midazolam group: 3.2 ± 0.49 pellets). Thus, repeated stress increases appetite for sweet food independently of hunger and chronic administration of midazolam can decrease this behavioral effect.

Keywords : feeding behavior; chronic stress; benzodiazepines; midazolam; sweet taste; rats.

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