Objective: Given the lack of reliable murine model of binge-like eating, we tried to induce this pathological behavior in mice.
Method: We used an experimental protocol mimicking the etiological factors involved in the development of binge eating in humans, that is, food restriction, refeeding (R-R) in presence of high palatable food, and stress (S).
Results: Mice subjected to at least three cycles of R-R plus S (forced swimming stress), showed a binge-like behavior evident as early as 4 h, persisting 24 h after stress application and not associated to depressive-like behavior. However, after the third R-R/S cycle, food intakes of mice returned to normal levels.
Discussion: (i) at least three cycles of R-R plus S are required to promote abnormal eating in mice, (ii) this is not associated to depressive-like behaviors, and (iii) the enhanced pathological behavior showed a transient nature not persisting after the third R-R/S cycle.