Low doses of the putative serotonin agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) elicit feeding in the rat.
Dourish CT., Hutson PH., Curzon G.
The effects of the putative serotonin agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) on food intake in non-deprived male rats were investigated. Low doses of 8-OH-DPAT (15-60 micrograms/kg) significantly increased food intake, without affecting drinking, grooming, rearing or locomotion. Microstructural analysis of the elicited feeding behaviour revealed that the rate of eating after 8-OH-DPAT treatment was very similar to that previously reported following 16 h food deprivation. Higher drug doses (250-4,000 micrograms/kg) also elicited feeding and caused locomotor stimulation and serotonin-related stereotyped behaviour (i.e. forepaw padding, headweaving, wet dog shakes, flat body posture). When feeding and stereotypy were observed concurrently, response competition was evident and feeding behaviour was fragmented into numerous short eating bouts. As drug-induced stereotypy declined with time, this fragmented pattern of eating was succeeded by long bouts of eating which were similar to those observed at doses of 15-60 micrograms/kg 8-OH-DPAT. The induction of feeding by a serotonin agonist appears paradoxical, since drugs which enhance brain serotonergic activity usually inhibit feeding.