d-Fenfluramine and animal models of eating disorders

B. Guardiola-Lemaitre

in 5-Hydroxytryptamine in Psychiatry

Published in print February 1991 | ISBN: 9780192620118
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724725 | DOI:
d-Fenfluramine and animal models of eating disorders

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Pharmacological studies on food intake or body weight have traditionally used normal, young lean rats which are starved or fed a bland and balanced diet of laboratory chow, or rats that are genetically obese or diabetic. However, many parameters, such as food regimen, age, physiological state, and environmental stresses or stimuli, and life events influence the development of eating disorders and consequently of obesity. Experimental models must reproduce these parameters to give an indication of the effect of a drug in human eating disorders. This is illustrated by some preclinical data obtained with the serotonergic drug d-fenfluramine. The models used to investigate this drug can be classified as studying: firstly, the motivation to eat; secondly, the structure of eating behaviour; and thirdly, the hedonic value of food and choice of macronutrients. In addition, some of the animal models induce overeating or trigger food intake. d-Fenfluramine acts by inhibition of the re-uptake of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) and by releasing 5-HT from nerve terminals. This chapter is based on the recognition that human eating disorders involve more than abnormal calorie intake. If animal models are to be of any value in highlighting the possible therapeutic action of a drug, it seems appropriate to consider more than the mere ingestion of food. Aspects of feeding which precede, accompany, follow, or otherwise support, ingestion must also be considered.

Keywords: balanced diet; obesity; eating disorders; d-fenfluramine; macronutrients; eating behaviour

Chapter.  2417 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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