Feeding conditions and estrous cycle of female rats under the activity-stress procedure from aspects of anorexia nervosa

Physiol Behav. 1992 Apr;51(4):827-32. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(92)90122-i.


The present study investigated the application of female rats with activity stress as an animal model for anorexia nervosa. Young female rats were singly housed in activity-wheel cages with food-restricted schedule (2, 3, or 4 h of food availability per day) for 3 weeks. Estrous cycle, body weight, food intake, and wheel revolution were recorded daily. Gastric pathology was also observed using the endoscopic technique. Rats that were subjected to either a 3- or 4-h feeding schedule exhibited the cessation of estrous cycle, loss of body weight, and suppression of food intake. These animals also showed a remarkable increase in running activity. However, they had no gastric lesions throughout the experimental period. On the contrary, the 2-h feeding schedule elicited severe gastric lesions and high mortality. The results suggest that behavioral and physiological changes of the young female rats with 3 or 4 h feeding share some symptoms of anorexia nervosa, although their anorexia is not self starvation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anorexia Nervosa / physiopathology*
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Estrus / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / physiopathology
  • Gastroscopy
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Stomach Ulcer / physiopathology