Voluntary wheel running effects on intra-accumbens opioid high-fat feeding and locomotor behavior in Sprague-Dawley and Wistar rat strains

Jenna R. Lee, Kyle E. Parker, Melissa Tapia, Howard W. Johns, Ted G. Floros, Michael D. Roberts, Frank W. Booth, Matthew J. Will

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The present study examined the influence of physical activity vs. sedentary home cage conditions on baseline and opioid-driven high-fat feeding behaviors in two common strains of laboratory rats. Sprague-Dawley and Wistar rats were singly housed with either access to a voluntary running wheel (RUN) or locked-wheel (SED) for 5 weeks, before being stereotaxically implanted with bilateral cannulae targeting the nucleus accumbens. Following recovery, with RUN or SED conditions continuing the duration of the experiment, all rats were given 2 h daily access to a high-fat diet for 6 consecutive days to establish a stable baseline intake. Over the next 2 weeks, all subjects were administered the μ-opioid agonist D-Ala2, NMe-Phe4, Glyol5-enkephalin (DAMGO) (multiple dose range) or saline into the nucleus accumbens, immediately followed by 2 h access to a high-fat diet. Drug treatments were separated by at least 1 day and treatment order was counterbalanced. Baseline consumption of the high-fat diet during the 1-week baseline acclimation period did not differ between RUN and SED groups in either rat strain. Higher doses of DAMGO produced increased fat consumption in both strains of rats, yet no differences were observed between RUN vs. SED treated groups. However, SED treatment produced a greater locomotor response following intra-accumbens DAMGO administration, compared to the RUN condition, during the 2 h feeding session. The data suggest that the animals housed in sedentary versus voluntary wheel running conditions may differ in behavioral tolerance to the locomotor but not the orexigenic activating properties of intra-accumbens DAMGO treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Consumption
  • Exercise
  • Feeding
  • High-fat
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Opioid
  • Palatable food
  • Sprague-Dawley
  • Strain
  • Voluntary wheel running
  • Wistar


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