Food restriction-induced hyperactivity: addiction or adaptation to famine?

Martine Duclos, Amel Ouerdani, Pierre Mormède, Jan Pieter Konsman
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013-06-01; 38(6): 884-897
DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.09.012

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1. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Jun;38(6):884-97. doi:
10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.09.012. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Food restriction-induced hyperactivity: addiction or adaptation to famine?

Duclos M(1), Ouerdani A, Mormède P, Konsman JP.

Author information:
(1)Clermont Université, Université d’Auvergne, Unité de Nutrition Humaine, BP
10448, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France.

Increased physical activity is present in 30-80% of anorexia nervosa patients. To
explain the paradox of low food intake and excessive exercise in humans and other
animals, it has been proposed that increased physical activity along with food
restriction activates brain reward circuits and is addictive. Alternatively, the
fleeing-famine hypothesis postulates that refusal of known scarce energy-low food
sources and hyperactivity facilitate migration towards new habitats that
potentially contain new energy-rich foodstuffs. The use of rewarding compounds
that differ in energy density, such as the energy-free sweetener saccharin and
the energy rich sucrose makes it possible to critically test the reward-addiction
and fleeing-famine hypotheses. The aims of the present work were to study if
sucrose and/or saccharin could attenuate food restriction-induced hyperactivity,
weight loss, increased plasma corticosterone, and activation of brain structures
involved in neuroendocrine control, energy balance, physical activity, and reward
signaling in rats. Its major findings are that access to sucrose, but not to
saccharin, attenuated food restriction-induced running wheel activity, weight
loss, rises in plasma corticosterone, and expression of the cellular activation
marker c-Fos in the paraventricular and arcuate hypothalamus and in the nucleus
accumbens. These findings suggest that the energy-richness and easy availability
of sucrose interrupted a fleeing-famine-like hyperactivity response. Since
corticosterone mediates food restriction-induced wheel running (Duclos et al.,
2009), we propose that the attenuating effect of sucrose consumption on plasma
corticosterone plays a role in reduced wheel running and weight loss by lowering
activation of the nucleus accumbens and arcuate hypothalamus in these animals.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.09.012
PMID: 23059205 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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