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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • binge-eating;
  • mice;
  • weight-cycling;
  • stress;
  • high palatable food

Abstract

Objective

Given the lack of reliable murine model of binge-like eating, we tried to induce this pathological behavior in mice.

Method

We used an experimental protocol mimicking the etiological factors involved in the development of binge eating in humans, that is, food restriction, refeeding (R-R) in presence of high palatable food, and stress (S).

Results

Mice subjected to at least three cycles of R-R plus S (forced swimming stress), showed a binge-like behavior evident as early as 4 h, persisting 24 h after stress application and not associated to depressive-like behavior. However, after the third R-R/S cycle, food intakes of mice returned to normal levels.

Discussion

(i) at least three cycles of R-R plus S are required to promote abnormal eating in mice, (ii) this is not associated to depressive-like behaviors, and (iii) the enhanced pathological behavior showed a transient nature not persisting after the third R-R/S cycle. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord, 2009