Background: Studies have shown that hormonal fluctuations that occur over the estrous cycle in rats affect food intake. It is possible that estrogen affects food intake via Opioid system and other brain areas which are involved in regulation of food intake. Therefore it may affect the sensitivity of female rats to hypophagic effect of Opioid antagonist Naloxone. Testosterone in male rats also changes food intake. However, little is known about hoe these Gonadal hormones interact with Opioid receptors to modulate food intake. Objective: The aim of the study was to find out how Gonadal hormones affect hypophagic property of Naloxone. Methods: Basal food intake of 40 healthy adult females and 20 healthy adult male rats was recorded. Then they were injected intraperitoneally with Naloxone after fasting for 24 hrs. In female rats food intake was measured during different phases of the estrous cycle. All the rats were then subjected to gonadectomy. The food intake was measured after gonadectomy. The effect of Naloxone was also measured in deprivation paradigm after gonadectomy. Results: Female rats showed decreased food intake during proestrous and estrous phases. In female rats there was no hypophagia after Naloxone injection during these phases. Male rats showed hypophagia on Naloxone injection. Male rats showed increased food intake after gonadectomy. In female rats the increase in food intake was not significant when gonadectomy was done during metestrous and diestrous. However, Naloxone could induce hypophagia in all female rats after gonadectomy. Conclusion: Estrogen decreases food intake, it decreases sensitivity of female rats to hypophasic effects of Naloxone. Testosterone decreases food intake. Testosterone does not interfere with hypophagic effect of Naloxone.
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