Binge-like eating in mice

Int J Eat Disord. 2009 Jul;42(5):402-8. doi: 10.1002/eat.20637.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bulimia*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation / physiology
  • Food Preferences
  • Hunger
  • Hyperphagia
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motivation
  • Random Allocation
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Swimming
  • Taste