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Open AccessArticle

Fructose:Glucose Ratios—A Study of Sugar Self-Administration and Associated Neural and Physiological Responses in the Rat

1
Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
2
Laboratory of Addictive Diseases, Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA
3
Department of Human Health & Nutritional Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2015, 7(5), 3869-3890; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7053869
Received: 20 April 2015 / Revised: 21 April 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Addiction)
This study explored whether different ratios of fructose (F) and glucose (G) in sugar can engender significant differences in self-administration and associated neurobiological and physiological responses in male Sprague-Dawley rats. In Experiment 1, animals self-administered pellets containing 55% F + 45% G or 30% F + 70% G, and Fos immunoreactivity was assessed in hypothalamic regions regulating food intake and reward. In Experiment 2, rats self-administered solutions of 55% F + 42% G (high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)), 50% F + 50% G (sucrose) or saccharin, and mRNA of the dopamine 2 (D2R) and mu-opioid (MOR) receptor genes were assessed in striatal regions involved in addictive behaviors. Finally, in Experiment 3, rats self-administered HFCS and sucrose in their home cages, and hepatic fatty acids were quantified. It was found that higher fructose ratios engendered lower self-administration, lower Fos expression in the lateral hypothalamus/arcuate nucleus, reduced D2R and increased MOR mRNA in the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens core, respectively, as well as elevated omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the liver. These data indicate that a higher ratio of fructose may enhance the reinforcing effects of sugar and possibly lead to neurobiological and physiological alterations associated with addictive and metabolic disorders. View Full-Text
Keywords: fructose; glucose; self-administration; hypothalamus; nucleus accumbens; dopamine 2 receptor; mu opioid receptor; fatty acid; hepatic; rat fructose; glucose; self-administration; hypothalamus; nucleus accumbens; dopamine 2 receptor; mu opioid receptor; fatty acid; hepatic; rat
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Levy, A.; Marshall, P.; Zhou, Y.; Kreek, M.J.; Kent, K.; Daniels, S.; Shore, A.; Downs, T.; Fernandes, M.F.; Mutch, D.M.; Leri, F. Fructose:Glucose Ratios—A Study of Sugar Self-Administration and Associated Neural and Physiological Responses in the Rat. Nutrients 2015, 7, 3869-3890.

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