Resistance of male Sprague–Dawley rats to sucrose-induced obesity: Effects of 18-methoxycoronaridine

Abstract

Evidence suggests that the development of obesity in males and females might be mediated by distinct mechanisms, warranting different treatment approaches. In previous studies from this laboratory, a high sucrose diet induced excessive weight gain in female Sprague-Dawley rats and administration of a selective antagonist of α3β4 nicotinic receptors, 18-methoxycoronaridine (18-MC), prevented this form of obesity. In the present study similar parameters were studied in male rats by using an identical experimental protocol. The effects of repeated administration of 18-MC on body weight gain, deposition of fat, consummatory behavior and biochemical markers of obesity in male rats were also assessed. In contrast to females, males consuming ad libitum quantities of sucrose solution (30%) in combination with normal chow did not become obese; they did not gain excessive weight nor show excessive fat deposition. Repeated administration of 18-MC (20mg/kg, i.p.) attenuated weight gain in both sucrose-consuming and control animals without altering food or fluid intake. The present results indicate that males and females are differentially responsive to high carbohydrate-diet obesity. Such gender disparities could be secondary to sex-specific alterations in cholinergic mechanisms of feeding and body weight regulation.

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