Poster Presentation The International Congress of Neuroendocrinology 2014

Food hoarding, but not food intake, is attenuated by acute diazepam treatment in female Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) (#148)

Huidi Yang 1 , Qian Wang 1 , Dehua Wang 1
  1. Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

To evaluate the role of food deprivation and GABA on food hoarding, female Mongolian gerbils were given i.p. injection of diazepam (1mg/kg and 3mg/kg, respectively), a GABAA receptor agonist. Among food-deprived females, there was a bimodal pattern in the frequency of gerbils with different levels of food hoarding. High food hoarding (HFH) and low food hoarding (LFH) gerbils were analyzed. Diazepam blocked food deprivation-induced food hoarding in HFH gerbils, but not in LFH gerbils. This blockade was associated with increased cellular activation in selected brain areas, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), caudate putamen (CP) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), which suggested that direct activation of GABA in the brain reward circuitry decreased food hoarding in HFH females. Moreover, diazepam increased Fos expression in field CA2 and CA3 of hippocampus, but had no significant effect on Fos expression in field CA1 and dentate gyrus (DG) of hippocampus, indicating that hippocampus has area-specific effects on food hoarding in HFH gerbils. Diazepam did not alter food intake in both HFH and LFH gerbils. In addition, serum corticosterone concentrations were higher in HFH than LFH ones. Together, these data indicated that food deprivation increased food hoarding in female gerbils, diazepam reduced food deprivation-induced food hoarding in HFH gerbils, and that GABA might influence food hoarding via classical reward circuitry via the mesolimbic dopamine system and specific hippocampal areas.