The impact of cafeteria diet feeding on physiology and anxiety-related behaviour in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats of different ages

Warneke, Wiebke, Klaus, Susanne, Fink, Heidrun, Langley-Evans, Simon C. and Voigt, Jörg-Peter (2014) The impact of cafeteria diet feeding on physiology and anxiety-related behaviour in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats of different ages. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 116 . pp. 45-44. ISSN 1873-5177

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There is emerging experimental evidence that hyper-energetic diets not only cause obesity but also impact on behaviour in rodents. A hyper-energetic comfort diet/cafeteria diet (CD) fed during early development programmes anxiety-related behaviour in adult age, but little is known how an obesogenic CD impacts on behaviour when fed at a later age.

To this end we fed CD to Sprague-Dawley rats of both sexes at either 6 weeks or 12 months old, for a period of 6 weeks. Anxiety-related behaviour was assessed in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the open field (OF). A glucose tolerance test was performed and metabolic indices, body weight and fat were measured.

CD-fed young adult females, but not males, had a higher energy intake, due to an overconsumption of carbohydrates and fats. Only in adult CD-fed rats of both sexes did this overconsumption led to increased weight gain. Protein intake was reduced in all CD groups. Fat mass (subcutaneous, perirenal, gonadal) increased in most CD groups, whereas brown fat increased only in adults. Triacyglycerol, free fatty acid and total cholesterol concentrations increased predominantly in adult CD-fed rats. Glucose tolerance was only impaired in adult males.

CD-fed adult males showed fewer entries into the aversive open arms and groomed more on the EPM, whereas adult females spent more time on these arms. In the OF, CD-fed females of both ages visited the inner zone more frequently and travelled a longer distance. The behavioural data suggests anxiolysis in CD-fed females and signs of increased anxiety in adult males. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that feeding CD leads to both obesity and behavioural changes in rats. Overall, these effects were more pronounced in older rats, with the behavioural effects being particularly gender dependent.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Elevated plus maze; Open field; obesity; glucose tolerance; fat tissue; blood lipids
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences
University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Voigt, Peter
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2017 14:34
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 20:15

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