Oxytocin gene deletion mice overconsume palatable sucrose solution but not palatable lipid emulsions

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Sep;293(3):R1063-8. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00228.2007. Epub 2007 Jun 27.


We previously reported that oxytocin knockout (OT KO) mice display markedly enhanced intake of sweet and nonsweet carbohydrate solutions compared with intake by wild-type (WT) mice of the same background strain. The present study was conducted to determine whether OT KO mice demonstrate enhanced intake of Intralipid, a palatable lipid emulsion. Male or female mice of both genotypes that were naive to the test solution were given continuous two-bottle access to Intralipid and water with food available ad libitum for 3 days. Throughout the experiment, mice of both genotypes showed a marked preference for Intralipid over water. On the 1st day, OT KO mice displayed twofold greater preference and consumed nearly twice as much Intralipid compared with WT cohorts. However, on subsequent days of exposure, Intralipid preference and intake did not differ between genotypes over a range of lipid concentrations presented in descending or ascending order. Daily and hourly measures of lipid vs. sucrose intake confirmed that OT KO mice consumed more sucrose solution, but not lipid emulsion, than WT mice. During ad libitum access to Intralipid, both genotypes consumed significantly more calories from the emulsion as concentration increased. Both genotypes maintained consistent total daily caloric intake (lipid plus chow) and compensated by decreasing chow intake over the course of the study. These findings, coupled with prior reports from our laboratory, support the view that OT signaling pathways participate in limiting intake of palatable carbohydrate-containing solutions, but do not appear to play a role in limiting intake of Intralipid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / genetics
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Drinking / drug effects
  • Emulsions
  • Energy Intake / drug effects
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / physiology*
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Oxytocin / genetics*
  • Oxytocin / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sucrose / pharmacology*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Emulsions
  • Oxytocin
  • Sucrose
  • DNA