Sodium deficiency and salt appetite in ICR: CD1 mice

Physiol Behav. 2004 Feb;80(5):629-35. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2003.11.004.


Using an outbred strain of mouse, we examined several characteristics of sodium appetite induced by depletion. We found that an appetite for 0.15 M NaCl solution was stimulated 24 h after injection of furosemide and access to a low-sodium diet, but not by low-sodium diet alone. When the duration of exposure to low-sodium diet was increased from 1 to 7 days, there was no additional effect on either the appetite or the blood plasma changes including elevated hematocrit ratio, protein and aldosterone concentrations, and plasma renin activity (PRA). Mice also showed an appetite for hypertonic (0.5 M) NaCl in solutions or in a gel matrix; the intakes of these two were comparable but the gel measurement was gravimetric so maybe more accurate. In the same study, we showed that single injections of either 10 or 40 mg/kg furosemide followed by a 24-h low-sodium diet produced similar appetites, but that 2.5 mg/kg had a submaximal effect. Lastly, we further validated the use of the gel matrix by showing in chronically depleted mice that intake was inversely related to NaCl concentration in the range 0.5-1.5 M, and that appetite was selective for sodium but not the anion with which it was paired.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Appetite / drug effects
  • Appetite / physiology*
  • Diuretics / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Eating / physiology
  • Female
  • Furosemide / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Sodium / deficiency*
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary / metabolism*


  • Diuretics
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary
  • Furosemide
  • Sodium