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, 58 (1), 9-13

Influence of Period Length of Light/Dark Cycles on the Body Weight and Food Intake of Young Rats

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Influence of Period Length of Light/Dark Cycles on the Body Weight and Food Intake of Young Rats

J Vilaplana et al. Physiol Behav.

Abstract

The purpose of this work is to test whether physiological factors, such as body weight or food intake, are related to the period of environmental cycles under which animals are kept. We studied body weight increase, daily food intake and efficiency (i.e. relationship between body weight increase and food intake) of 7 groups each containing 20-24 male rats. Measurements were recorded every 4 days from the day of weaning (25 days old) during 64 days. Each group of rats was kept under a symmetrical LD cycle. The period of the cycles studied were: 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 hours (T22, T23 ... T28). Results show differences in the three variables studied for groups T25 and T26. These animals show an inferior body weight, less food intake and less efficiency. It would seem that the difference between the period of the external LD cycle and the endogenous period of the animals rhythm induces changes in the energetic needs of the organism.

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