Excessive sugar intake alters binding to dopamine and mu-opioid receptors in the brain

C. Colantuoni, J. Schwenker, J. McCarthy, P. Rada, B. Ladenheim, J. L. Cadet, G. J. Schwartz, T. H. Moran, B. G. Hoebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

308 Scopus citations

Abstract

Palatable food stimulates neural systems implicated in drug dependence; thus sugar might have effects like a drug of abuse. Rats were given 25% glucose solution with chow for 12 h followed by 12 h of food deprivation each day. They doubled their glucose intake in 10 days and developed a pattern of excessive intake in the first hour of daily access. After 30 days, receptor binding was compared to chow-fed controls. Dopamine D-I receptor binding increased significantly in the accumbens core and shell. In contrast, D-2 binding decreased in the dorsal striatum. Binding to dopamine transporter increased in the midbrain. Opioid mu-I receptor binding increased significantly in the cingulate cortex, hippocampus, locus coeruleus and accumbens shell. Thus, intermittent, excessive sugar intake sensitized D-I and mu-I receptors much like some drugs of abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3549-3552
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroReport
Volume12
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 16 2001

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Keywords

  • Accumbens
  • Binge
  • D-I
  • Dopamine
  • Glucose
  • Mu
  • Opioid
  • Rat
  • Receptor
  • Sugar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Colantuoni, C., Schwenker, J., McCarthy, J., Rada, P., Ladenheim, B., Cadet, J. L., Schwartz, G. J., Moran, T. H., & Hoebel, B. G. (2001). Excessive sugar intake alters binding to dopamine and mu-opioid receptors in the brain. NeuroReport, 12(16), 3549-3552. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001756-200111160-00035