Alleviation in the rat of a GABA-induced reduction in food intake and growth

Jean K. Tews, Joyce J. Repa, Alfred E. Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cold exposure and diet dilution which stimulate food intake of normal rats lessened depressions of food intake and growth induced by dietary GABA. During a 3-day adaptation to the cold, rats fed a diet containing 4.5% GABA lost weight; thereafter, food intake and growth rate differed little from those of cold control rats and were usually greater than those of normal rats fed GABA. Hepatic GABA-aminotransferase activity of cold-exposed rats fed the GABA diet increased to about twice that of normal control rats. Rats fed a control diet diluted by half with cellulose ate 50% more of this diet than of the undiluted diet but gained only 20% less weight. Rats ate twice as much of a diluted, 9% GABA diet as of an undiluted, 4.5% GABA diet (thus doubling their GABA intake) and gained three times as much weight. A novel food (condensed milk) barely lessened the adverse responses to GABA. These results show that conditions requiring rats to increase their food intake in order to maintain body weight can also increase their acceptance of a diet high in GABA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1984


  • Amino acid imbalance
  • Cold exposure
  • Condensed milk
  • Dietary GABA
  • Dietary cellulose
  • Food intake
  • GABA-aminotransferase
  • Threonine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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