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Effects of chronic lithium, amitriptyline and mianserin on glucoregulation, corticosterone and energy balance in the rat


Major negative side-effects reported for mood-stabilizing and antidepressant drugs in humans are excess weight gain and carbohydrate craving. The aim of the present study was to establish whether the rat could usefully be employed in investigation of these phenomena. Three experiments investigated the effects of chronic lithium (40 mg/kg LiCl), amitriptyline (2.5 mg/kg), mianserin (2.5 mg/kg) and saline administration (15-20 days, one subcutaneous injection/day) on body weight, food intake and fluid intake. Water and food cubes were provided in all experiments. Additionally available, as separate fluid sources, in Experiment 2 were 24% sucrose and 0.6% saccharin and in Experiment 3, 0.6% saccharin. Blood was collected for plasma glucose and insulin determinations 20-24 hours after the final injections. Lithium administration resulted in a marked increase in weight gain but only if both sucrose and saccharin were available (Experiment 2). Saccharin intake was increased with lithium treatment as was total caloric intake with sucrose available. Amitriptyline induced a sweetness craving; however, weight gain was somewhat depressed with just cubes available (Experiment 1) and only normalised by the additional availability of sucrose and saccharin (Experiment 2). With amitriptyline, total caloric intake was never different from controls. Weight gain was slightly suppressed and caloric intake slightly elevated by mianserin but importantly the two effects combined for a decrease in metabolic efficiency which was particularly exaggerated under the condition of carbohydrate availability (Experiment 2). Lithium and amitriptyline both produced hyperinsulinemia with normoglycemia whether or not the rate of weight gain was changed and whether or not intake was increased. Corticosterone levels were elevated by all drug treatments in Experiment 1.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Type Journal
ISBN 0091-3057 (Print)
Authors Storlien, L. H.;Higson, F. M.;Gleeson, R. M.;Smythe, G. A.;Atrens, D. M. :
Publisher Name Pharmacol Biochem Behav
Published Date 1985-01-01
Published Volume 22
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 119-25
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version