Effects of hydrational state on ingestion in infant rats: is dehydration the only ingestive stimulus?
The physiological stimulus for deprivation-enhanced ingestion was studied in developing rats. During an overnight deprivation period, continuous gastric infusions of isotonic saline or milk were made to 6- and 15-day-old rat pups in order to preferentially maintain hydrational or hydrational and nutritional status, respectively. Pups' ingestion was then studied in oral-infusion tests. In 6-day-old pups that received either milk or saline infusions, ingestion was depressed relative to intake in pups that were simply deprived. But in 15-day-old pups, only milk infusions reduced intake. These findings suggest that the increased ingestion stimulated by deprivation in pups less than a week of age results primarily from dehydration, and thus that nutrient-related feeding does not emerge until later in development.
Phifer, CB; Ladd, MD; Hall, WG
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