The effect of dexamethasone-21-acetate on meal size, meal frequency and macronutrient self-selection in rats

Physiol Behav. 1989 Aug;46(2):211-6. doi: 10.1016/0031-9384(89)90258-8.


In Experiment 1, the measurement of 24-hour food intake in two rats showed that treatment with dexamethasone-21-acetate (DEX) (0.5 mg/kg IP) produced a decrease in body weight which was at least partially due to a decrease in food intake (both meal frequency and meal size). In Experiment 2, the daily intake of three macronutrient sources was measured. These data showed that treatment with DEX (0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg IP) led to an acute increase in protein intake, a sustained decrease in fat intake and no change in carbohydrate consumption. We suggest that this change in macronutrient selection may be an adaptive response which serves to ameliorate some of the effects of DEX treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Energy Intake / drug effects
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
  • Food Preferences / drug effects*
  • Hypothalamus / analysis
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Serotonin / analysis


  • Blood Glucose
  • Serotonin
  • Dexamethasone
  • dexamethasone acetate
  • Norepinephrine