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Effects of different sweeteners on behavior and neurotransmitters release in mice


Four natural sweeteners (sucrose, stevioside, maltose and xylitol) and six artificial sweeteners (acesulfame, sucralose, aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin and neotame) were used to study the effects of different sweeteners on the behavior and neurotransmitter release of mice with two-bottle preference experiments. The results showed that very significant preference behavior for 8% sucrose solution, 0.3% stevioside solution, 10 mM acesulfame, 10 mM sucralose and 10 mM aspartame solutions (p < 0.01) was observed on mice. Long-term exposure of sucrose solution and acesulfame solution can affect the behavioral indicators such as solution consumption, feed intake, body weight and the release of neurotransmitters in mice. The solution consumption and the release of neurotransmitters were significantly greater (p < 0.05) than that of the control group (water group), but there was no significant difference in feed intake. The acesulfame-A and acesulfame-B groups had no significant difference on the consumption of solution and feed intake, but there was significant difference in the release of neurotransmitters. The result also showed that different sweetener solutions with similar sweetness had the same effect on the neurotransmitters release, and it can be inferred that mice have an addictive behavioral characteristic to sucrose.

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This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan of China (2017YFD0400101), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Program No. 31671824).

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Correspondence to Gang Fan.

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Yin, K., Xie, D., Zhao, L. et al. Effects of different sweeteners on behavior and neurotransmitters release in mice. J Food Sci Technol 57, 113–121 (2020).

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  • Sweeteners
  • Two-bottle preference test
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Mice