Enhancement of meal-associated hypertonic NaCl intake by moxonidine into the lateral parabrachial nucleus
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α2-Adrenoceptor activation with moxonidine (α2-adrenergic/imidazoline receptor agonist) into the lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPBN) enhances angiotensin II/hypovolaemia-induced sodium intake and drives cell dehydrated rats to ingest hypertonic sodium solution besides water. Angiotensin II and osmotic signals are suggested to stimulate meal-induced water intake. Therefore, in the present study we investigated the effects of bilateral injections of moxonidine into the LPBN on food deprivation-induced food intake and on meal-associated water and 0.3 M NaCl intake. Male Holtzman rats with cannulas implanted bilaterally into the LPBN were submitted to 14 or 24 h of food deprivation with water and 0.3 M NaCl available (n = 6-14). Bilateral injections of moxonidine (0.5 nmol/0.2 μl) into the LPBN increased meal-associated 0.3 M NaCl intake (11.4 ± 3.0 ml/120 min versus vehicle: 2.2 ± 0.9 ml/120 min), without changing food intake (11.1 ± 1.2 g/120 min versus vehicle: 11.2 ± 0.9 g/120 min) or water intake (10.2 ± 1.5 ml/120 min versus vehicle: 10.4 ± 1.2 ml/120 min) by 24 h food deprived rats. When no food was available during the test, moxonidine (0.5 nmol) into the LPBN of 24 h food-deprived rats produced no change in 0.3 M NaCl intake (1.0 ± 0.6 ml/120 min versus vehicle: 1.8 ± 1.1 ml/120 min), nor in water intake (0.2 ± 0.1 ml/120 min versus vehicle: 0.6 ± 0.3 ml/120 min). The results suggest that signals generated during a meal, like dehydration, for example, not hunger, induce hypertonic NaCl intake when moxonidine is acting in the LPBN. Thus, activation of LPBN inhibitory mechanisms seems necessary to restrain sodium intake during a meal. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.