Genetic variance contributes to naltrexone-induced inhibition of sucrose intake in inbred and outbred mouse strains

Cheryl T. Dym, Alexander Pinhas, Miriam Ginzberg, Benjamin Kest, Richard J. Bodnar

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23 Scopus citations


The study of genetic variance in opioid receptor antagonism of sucrose and other forms of sweet intake has been limited to reductions in sweet intake in mice that are opioid receptor-deficient or lacking either pre-pro-enkephalin or beta-endorphin. Marked genetic variance in inbred mouse strains has been observed for sucrose intake across a wide array of concentrations in terms of sensitivity, magnitude, percentages of kilocalories consumed as sucrose and compensatory chow intake. The present study examined potential genetic variance in systemic naltrexone's dose-dependent (0.01-5 mg/kg) and time-dependent (5-120 min) ability to decrease sucrose (10%) intake in eleven inbred (A/J, AKR/J, BALB/cJ, CBA/J, C3H/HeJ, C57BL/6J, C57BL/10J, DBA/2J, SJL/J, SWR/J, 129P3/J) and one outbred (CD-1) mouse strains. A minimum criterion sucrose intake (1 ml) under vehicle treatment, designed to avoid "floor effects" of antagonist treatment was not achieved in three (A/J, AKR/J, CBA/J) inbred mouse strains. Marked genetic variance in naltrexone's ability to inhibit sucrose intake was observed in the remaining strains with the greatest sensitivity observed in the C57BL/10J and C57BL/6J strains, intermediate sensitivity in BALB/cJ, C3H/HeJ, CD-1 and DBA/2J mice, and the least sensitivity in 129P3/J, SWR/J and SJL/J strains with a 7.5-36.5 fold range of greater effects in the ID50 of naltrexone-induced inhibition in C57BL/10J relative to the three less-sensitive strains across the time course. Naltrexone primarily affected the maintenance, rather than the initiation of intake in BALB/cJ, CD-1, C3H/HeJ, DBA/2J and SJL/J mice, but significantly reduced sucrose intake at higher doses across the time course in C57BL/6J, C57BL/10J and 129P3/J mice. Whereas SWR/J mice failed to display any significant reduction in sucrose intake at any time point following any of the naltrexone doses, naltrexone's maximal magnitude of inhibitory effects was small (35-40%) in 129P3/J and SJL/J mice, moderate (∼ 50%) in BALB/cJ, C3H/HeJ, CD-1 and DBA2/J mice, and profound (70-80%) in C57BL/6J and C57BL/10J mice. Indeed, the latter two strains displayed significantly greater percentages of naltrexone-induced inhibition of sucrose intake than virtually all other strains. These data indicate the importance of genetic variability in opioid modulation of sucrose intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Opioid receptor antagonism
  • Sweet intake


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