Effects of food deprivation on caffeine consumption in male and female rats

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  • Clyde C. Heppner
    University of Minnesota, USA
  • E. D. Kemble
    University of Minnesota, USA
  • W. Miles Cox
    Indiana University
The effect of food deprivation on caffeine consumption was investigated in male and female rats utilizing two-bottle preference tests. During ad lib food and water access, proportional consumption of six increasingly concentrated caffeine solutions (0.01–0.125%) steadily declined as concentration increased with no sex differences. Across concentrations, females tended to ingest more mg/kg caffeine than males. Food deprivation increased both proportional and mg/kg caffeine consumption in both sexes. When returned to ad lib food, proportional, but not mg/kg, caffeine consumption returned to pre-deprivation levels. Consumption of a quinine solution (0.02%), comparable to the caffeine in two-bottle preference, declined somewhat during food deprivation. These results indicate that caffeine preference and mg/kg consumption are increased by food deprivation and that this effect does not result from increased preference for bitter tastes per se. Rather, the results suggest that increased caffeine intake during food deprivation is due to a specific interaction between reduced body weight and the drug. The results also suggest that the deprivation effect is somewhat weaker in females than males, perhaps due to sex differences in reactivity to caffeine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1559
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1986
Externally publishedYes
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