Effects of the MCH1 receptor antagonist SNAP 94847 on high-fat food-reinforced operant responding and reinstatement of food seeking in rats
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- Cite this article as:
- Nair, S.G., Adams-Deutsch, T., Pickens, C.L. et al. Psychopharmacology (2009) 205: 129. doi:10.1007/s00213-009-1523-6
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Rationale and objectives
The melanin-concentrating hormone 1 (MCH1) receptors play an important role in home-cage food consumption in rodents, but their role in operant high-fat food-reinforced responding or reinstatement of food seeking in animal models is unknown. Here, we used the MCH1 receptor antagonist SNAP 94847 to explore these questions.
Materials and methods
In experiment 1, we trained food-restricted rats (16 g/day of nutritionally balanced rodent diet) to lever press for high-fat (35%) pellets (3-h/day, every other day) for 14 sessions. We then tested the effect of SNAP 94847 (3–30 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.)) on food-reinforced operant responding. In experiments 2 and 3, we trained rats to lever press for the food pellets (9 to 14 3-h sessions) and subsequently extinguished the food-reinforced lever responding by removing the food (10 to 17 sessions). We then tested the effect of SNAP 94847 on reinstatement of food seeking induced by MCH (20 μg, intracerebroventricular), noncontingent delivery of three pellets during the first minute of the test session (pellet-priming), contingent tone–light cues previously associated with pellet delivery (cue), or the pharmacological stressor yohimbine (2 mg/kg, i.p.).
Systemic injections of SNAP 94847 decreased food-reinforced operant responding and MCH-induced reinstatement of food seeking. SNAP 94847 had no effect on pellet-priming-, cue-, or yohimbine-induced reinstatement.
Results indicate that MCH1 receptors are involved in food-reinforced operant responding but not in reinstatement induced by acute exposure to high-fat food, food cues, or the stress-like state induced by yohimbine. These results suggest that different mechanisms mediate food-reinforced operant responding and reinstatement of food seeking.