, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 93-98

Effects of nicotine on body weight and food consumption in rats

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Recent human and animal studies have found that cigarette smoking or nicotine administration is accompanied by decreased consumption of sweet-tasting, high caloric foods. Cessation of smoking or nicotine is accompanied by increased consumption of these foods. Changes in consumption of these specific foods may partially account for the inverse relationship between smoking or nicotine and body weight. The present research was designed to determine whether consumption of nonsweet food is affected by nicotine and whether continuous access to only nonsweet foods attenuates the body weight changes associated with nicotine administration and cessation of nicotine administration. Alzet miniosmotic pumps were implanted SC to administer saline or three different concentrations of nicotine to male Sprague-Dawley albino rats for 2–3 weeks. Two studies on a total of 80 rats found an inverse dose-response relationship between nicotine administration and body weight without changes in bland food or water consumption. After cessation of nicotine administration, there were no differences in food consumption or body weight changes between groups. The effects of nicotine on body weight, both during and after drug administration, were attenuated in comparison to the results of studies that provided sweet-tasting foods.