, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 101–105 | Cite as

Effects of nicotine on body weight and food consumption in female rats

  • Neil E. Grunberg
  • Deborah J. Bowen
  • Suzan E. Winders
Original investigations


Women often report that they smoke cigarettes to avoid weight gains and that they relapse after abstaining from tobacco because of weight gains. Men also report these concerns but to a lesser extent. This gender difference may reflect sociological and cultural pressures about physical appearance, or it may reflect sex differences in the effects of nicotine. The present research was designed to examine the effects of nicotine administration and cessation of nicotine on body weight, food consumption, and water consumption. Alzet miniosmotic pumps were implanted SC to administer saline or three different concentrations of nicotine to female Sprague-Dawley rats for 17 days. This paradigm has been used in previous studies of nicotine and body weight in male rats. Animals were used as subjects to avoid cultural factors and cognitive concerns about body weight. Nicotine administration decreased normal body weight gains and cessation of nicotine was accompanied by significant increases in body weight compared to controls. In contrast to previous studies of male rats, the nicotine-related changes in body weight were accompanied by changes in bland food and water consumption. These findings indicate that females are more sensitive than males to the effects of nicotine on body weight and feeding during and after drug administration.

Key words

Nicotine Body weight Food consumption Water consumption 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil E. Grunberg
    • 1
  • Deborah J. Bowen
    • 1
  • Suzan E. Winders
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Psychology DepartmentUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA

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