Brain glucoprivation and ketoprivation do not promote ingestion in the suckling rat pup

M. Leshem, F. W. Flynn, A. N. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the possibility that brain glucose or ketone availability may control suckling or precocious feeding in the preweanling rat. Brain glucoprivation induced by 5-thio-D-glucose injection into the 4th ventricle did not increase feeding on orally infused milk until 30 days of age, although hyperglycemia was evoked as early as 9 days by the same treatment. Plasma ketone levels varied with suckling status, but pharmacological blockade of hepatic free fatty acid oxidation, which restricts ketone availability (ketoprivation), failed to increase suckling. Because the suckling rat can switch energy substrates under nutritional duress, we combined glucoprivation and ketoprivation. Feeding was suppressed, and suckling was not affected. Finally, we injected ketones into the 3rd brain ventricle and found that they increased feeding. Thus, in contrast to the adult rat, reduced glucose or ketone utilization by the brain does not increase food intake in the preweanling, but increased circulating and brain ketone concentrations may arouse feeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R365-R375
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2 27-2
StatePublished - 1990


  • brain glucose
  • ketones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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