Murine strain differences occur for both intakes of and preferences for sugars and fats. Previous studies demonstrated that the muscarinic cholinergic receptor antagonist, scopolamine (SCOP) more potently reduced sucrose and saccharin intakes in inbred C57BL/6 and BALB/c than SWR mice, sucrose-conditioned flavor preferences (CFP) expression in BALB/c, but not C57BL/6 or SWR mice, and sucrose-CFP acquisition in BALB/c relative to SWR and C57BL/6 mice. Although fat intake and fat-CFP are observed in all three strains, strain-specific effects were previously observed following dopamine D1, opiate and NMDA receptor antagonism of sweet and fat intake and CFP. The present study investigated whether muscarinic receptor antagonism differentially affected fat (Intralipid) intake and preferences in these strains by examining whether SCOP altered fat (Intralipid) intake and fat-CFP expression and acquisition in BALB/c, C57BL/6 and SWR mice. SCOP (0.1–10 mg/kg) significantly reduced Intralipid (5%) intake in all three strains across 2 h. In fat-CFP expression experiments, food-restricted mice consumed one flavored (conditioned stimulus (CS)+, 5 sessions) Intralipid (5%) solution and a differently-flavored (CS−, 5 sessions) Intralipid (0.5%) solution. Two-bottle CS choice tests with the two flavors mixed in 0.5% Intralipid occurred following vehicle and two SCOP doses (1, 5 mg/kg). SCOP elicited small, but significant reductions in fat-CFP expression in BALB/c and C57BL/6, but not SWR mice. In fat-CFP acquisition experiments, separate groups of BALB/c, C57BL/6 and SWR mice were treated prior to the ten acquisition training sessions with vehicle or two SCOP (2.5, 5 mg/kg) doses followed by six two-bottle choice tests without injections. SCOP eliminated fat-CFP acquisition in all three strains. Thus, muscarinic receptor signaling mediates learning, and to a lesser degree maintenance of fat-CFP while maximally inhibiting fat intake in the three strains.
- Murine genetic variance