Starvation-induced hyperactivity in the rat: The role of endocrine and neurotransmitter changes

K. M. Pirke*, A. Broocks, T. Wilckens, R. Marquard, U. Schweiger

*Corresponding author for this work
100 Citations (Scopus)


Semistarved rats develop high running wheel activity. This running activity induces increased norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin turnover in the hypothalamus. Corticosterone in plasma becomes increased while luteinizing hormone and testosterone are suppressed. In female rats cyclic gonadal function is suppressed. Running activity in the semistarved rats can be suppressed specifically by serotonin 1-c-agonists and by α2-adrenoceptor agonists. This animal model is helpful in the understanding of the combined effects of starvation and hyperactivity, which are observed in many patients with anorexia nervosa. The observation of the serotonergic system might help to develop a pharmacological treatment of hyperactivity in anorectic patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1993

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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