Amphetamine-sensitized rats show sugar-induced hyperactivity (cross-sensitization) and sugar hyperphagia (2003)

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Feb;74(3):635-9.

Avena NM1, Hoebel BG.


The goal was to determine the locomotor and consummatory effects of sugar in amphetamine-sensitized rats. Following a 30-min locomotor activity baseline using a photocell cage, male rats were administered either 3.0 mg/kg amphetamine or saline i.p. daily for 6 days. On the final day of injections, locomotor activity was measured again to affirm amphetamine sensitization. Experiment 1: Seven days later, half of each group was offered 10% sucrose or water for 1 min in the home cages, followed by a 30-min locomotor activity test to determine whether or not the animals had become hyperactive in response to sugar. Results showed that amphetamine-sensitized animals were hyperactive following a taste of sugar, but not water. Experiment 2: All subjects were then given access to 10% sucrose for 1 h daily for five consecutive days. Results showed that the amphetamine-sensitized group consumed more sucrose across the 5-day measurement period. These results suggest that sugar may be acting on the same system as amphetamine to trigger hyperactivity, and that alterations in this system caused by repeated doses of amphetamine can instigate an appetite for sugar that persists for at least a week.