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Individual differences in sucrose intake and preference in the rat: circadian variation and association with dopamine D2 receptor function in striatum and nucleus accumbens



Individual differences in sucrose intake and preference in the rat: circadian variation and association with dopamine D2 receptor function in striatum and nucleus accumbens



Neuroscience Letters 403(1-2): 119-124



Measurement of sucrose intake or preference is currently in widespread use in preclinical psychopharmacology, and used for predicting sensitivity to rewards, but limited information is available about the consistency of individual sucrose intake or preference. In the present study, individual differences in sucrose intake and preference in free-feeding rats were studied during the dark and light phases, and associations of these measures with the function of D(2) receptors in the striatum and nucleus accumbens were characterized. Altogether eight two-bottle tests were carried out intermittently during light and dark phase. Ten days after the last test, animals were sacrificed. Intake, and to a lesser degree preference of sucrose during the dark phase were higher as compared to the light phase, and sucrose intake, but not preference was individually very consistent across different tests, especially during the dark phase. The average dark phase sucrose intake and preference correlated positively with dopamine-dependent [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding in nucleus accumbens. Dopamine-dependent [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding in striatum correlated negatively with sucrose preference in the first test. This study has demonstrated that sucrose intake is an individually stable trait, especially when measured during the dark phase, and persistent individual differences in sucrose consumption and possibly reward sensitivity in general are related to dopamine D(2) receptor function in the nucleus accumbens. Individual differences in D(2) receptor function in the striatum may influence behaviour of rats in novel situations.

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Accession: 012202147

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16682119

DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2006.04.023


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