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Examining persistence of acute environmental enrichment-induced anti-sucrose craving effects in rats
- Grimm, Jeffrey W., Hyde, Jeff, Glueck, Edwin, North, Katherine, Ginder, Darren, Jiganti, Kyle, Hopkins, Madeleine, Sauter, Frances, MacDougall, Derek, Hovander, Dan
- Appetite 2019 v.139 pp. 50-58
- acute exposure, craving, environmental enrichment, rats, sucrose
- A single, overnight (acute) environmental enrichment (EE; a large environment with conspecifics and novel objects) experience robustly decreases sucrose consumption (taking) and responsiveness to sucrose-paired cues (seeking) in rats. Persisting effects of acute EE on sucrose seeking and taking have not yet been identified. In the present study, rats were trained to self-administer a 10% sucrose solution paired with a compound tone + light stimulus for 10 days in 2-h sessions. We then examined the persistence of acute EE effects at reducing sucrose seeking and taking in a 12-h test immediately following acute EE (Exp. 1), or for 7 days with daily 1-h tests immediately following acute EE, or after a 24-h delay (Exp. 2). We also examined the persistence of acute EE effects on sucrose taking in rats responding on a PR schedule in 7 daily sessions following acute EE (Exp. 3). We found that acute EE was effective at reducing responding for both sucrose and a sucrose-paired cue, persisting throughout the 12-h test (Exp. 1). A reduction in sucrose seeking persisted for 24 h and a reduction in sucrose taking persisted for 72 h following acute EE plus a 24-h delay prior to testing (Exp. 2). Decreased PR responding for sucrose was observed following acute EE; this reduction persisted for 48 h (Exp. 3). These findings indicate that acute exposure to EE has persisting effects at reducing sucrose seeking and taking in rats. Acute EE may have translational value as a non-pharmacological intervention to curb sucrose craving.