Potency of naloxone's anorectic effect in rats is dependent on diet preference

Am J Physiol. 1996 Jul;271(1 Pt 2):R217-21. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1996.271.1.R217.


Modulation of feeding behavior by neuropeptide Y (NPY) and opioids is well established, but the possibility that these neural influences provoke specific appetites, NPY for carbohydrate and opioids for fat, has also been considered. In other studies, intake of standard chow after NPY stimulation can be blocked by naloxone, indicating an interaction between these systems in the regulation of feeding. The present experiments examined the nature of NPY-opioid interactions in diet selection. Rats were administered NPY and naloxone concurrently, then chose between high-fat and high-carbohydrate diets. Subcutaneous administration of naloxone (0.01-0.3 mg/kg) potently reduced intake of the preferred diet, but not the nonpreferred diet. A similar pattern of selection was seen in a separate experiment where the same doses of naloxone were administered after 24-h food deprivation. These data support the idea that the opioid system mediates the "rewarding" aspects of feeding.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anorexia / chemically induced*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Food Deprivation / physiology
  • Food Preferences*
  • Male
  • Naloxone / pharmacology*
  • Neuropeptide Y / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Naloxone