A nutritive control of independent ingestion in rat pups emerges by nine days of age.
The emergence of controls of independent ingestion in rat pups was studied using nutritive (0.6 M glucose in saline or water) and vehicle gastric preloads. Two hours after preloading, ingestive responses were assessed in a 30-minute test of feeding from the floor. In 6-day-olds, all preloads had similar effects on consumption of a milk diet. In 9-day-olds, however, glucose-water preloads inhibited intake compared to water preloads. This inhibition was secondary to an effect on gastric emptying. Glucose preloads also inhibited intake in 12- and 15-day-olds. Behavioral observations indicated that feeding patterns were altered in response to glucose preloads in 9-day-olds. These results provide evidence for the emergence of a nutritive, postgastric control of independent ingestion between 6 and 9 days of age.
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