Thirst‐induced anorexias and the ontogeny of thirst in the rat

Micah Leshem, Alan N. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In previous work (Leshem, M., Boggan, B., and Epstein, A.N. (1988). The ontogeny of drinking evoked by activation of brain angiotensin in the rat pup. Dev. Psychobiol. Vol. 21, pp. 63–75) we showed that thirst elicited by activation of the brain's renin‐angiotensin system in the suckling becomes specific to water after 16 days of age. However, in the suckling, we did not find the anorexia that reportedly accompanies angiotensin‐induced thirst in the adult. This suggests the existence of a further stage in the ontogeny of thirst. Therefore, the present study pursued the ontogeny of thirst and its effects on milk intake through prepubescence into aduthood. Experiment 1 revealed that intracranial renin does not cause an anorexia to milk in prepubescent or adult rats. Experiment 2 showed that the absence of anorexia is true of thirst induced by renin but not by cellular dehydration, although both dipsogens suppressed milk intake when rats also had water available. Experiment 3 confirmed that the preweanling shows anorexia to solid food, as does the adult. Together with other work, these findings suggest that the ontogeny of the thirsts aroused by renin or intracellular dehydration is complete before weaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-662
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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