Neuropharmacology of Learned Food Preferences

Summary

Principal Investigator: A Sclafani
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Obesity is currently a major health problem that increases the risk for many diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and some forms of cancer. The growing prevalence of overweight and obese individuals attributed in part to environmental factors such as the abundance of palatable, energy dense foods that are rich in sugar and fat. Laboratory research has documented that high-sugar and high-fat foods promote overeating and obesity in animals. The orosensory properties (flavor) of high-sugar and high-fat foods are clearly attractive to animals and contribute to diet-induced overeating. This attraction is based, in part, on innate taste preferences (e.g., for sweet taste), which appear to involve activation of potent brain reward circuits. Learning also plays an important role in modifying and strengthening food preferences, although much less is known about the neurocircuitry involved. The overall goal of this application is to elucidate the central neurotransmitter systems that support food preference learning and contribute to the appetite for sugar- and fat-rich foods. Research will focus on two types of learning: (a) flavor preferences conditioned by sweet or oily flavors and (b) flavor preferences conditioned by the postingestive actions of sugar and fat. Preliminary findings implicate brain dopamine receptors but not opioid receptors in flavor preference learning produced by sugars. The specific aims of this project are to (1) identify the brain sites (hypothalamic-limbic-cortical) mediating dopamine involvement in sugar-conditioned food preferences;(2) analyze the role of dopamine signaling in fat-conditioned flavor preferences;(3) clarify the involvement of opioid signaling in sugar- and fat-conditioned flavor preferences. This research involves the fields of psychology, neuropharmacology, and neuroscience. It will advance our understanding of the basic mechanisms involved in the development of food preferences and may provide insights into the clinical treatment of overeating and obesity.
Funding Period: 2005-08-01 - 2010-07-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Effect of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor antagonism in the lateral hypothalamus on the expression and acquisition of fructose-conditioned flavor preference in rats
    Nicole J Amador
    Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York, NY, NY, United States
    Brain Res 1542:70-8. 2014
  2. pmc Dopamine signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala is required for the acquisition of fructose-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    Danielle C Malkusz
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Subprogram, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
    Behav Brain Res 233:500-7. 2012
  3. pmc Double-dissociation of D1 and opioid receptor antagonism effects on the acquisition of sucrose-conditioned flavor preferences in BALB/c and SWR mice
    Cheryl T Dym
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Sub Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY 11367, USA
    Pharmacol Biochem Behav 103:26-32. 2012
  4. pmc Critical role of NMDA but not opioid receptors in the acquisition of fat-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    J A D Dela Cruz
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Sub Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
    Neurobiol Learn Mem 98:341-7. 2012
  5. ncbi Dopamine D1 and opioid receptor antagonism effects on the acquisition and expression of fat-conditioned flavor preferences in BALB/c and SWR mice
    Tamar T Kraft
    Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster of the Psychology Doctoral Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
    Pharmacol Biochem Behav 110:127-36. 2013
  6. pmc Glucose-conditioned flavor preference learning requires co-activation of NMDA and dopamine D1-like receptors within the amygdala
    Khalid Touzani
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA Electronic address
    Neurobiol Learn Mem 106:95-101. 2013
  7. pmc Role of gut nutrient sensing in stimulating appetite and conditioning food preferences
    Anthony Sclafani
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 302:R1119-33. 2012
  8. pmc Roles of dopamine D1 and D2 receptors in the acquisition and expression of fat-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    J A D Dela Cruz
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Sub Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
    Neurobiol Learn Mem 97:332-7. 2012
  9. pmc Strain differences in sucrose- and fructose-conditioned flavor preferences in mice
    Alexander Pinhas
    Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York, United States
    Physiol Behav 105:451-9. 2012
  10. pmc Dopamine and learned food preferences
    Anthony Sclafani
    Cognition, Brain and Behavior Doctoral Subprogram, Graduate Center, City University of New York, NY, United States
    Physiol Behav 104:64-8. 2011

Scientific Experts

  • A Sclafani
  • K Touzani
  • Richard J Bodnar
  • Cheryl T Dym
  • Sonia Y Bernal
  • J A D Dela Cruz
  • Meri Gerges
  • Yana Abayev
  • Tamar T Kraft
  • Yakov Yakubov
  • Alexander Pinhas
  • Ester Kandova
  • Patricia Miner
  • Nicole J Amador
  • Vanessa Acosta
  • D Bamshad
  • C Sampson
  • R J Bodnar
  • Danielle C Malkusz
  • D Icaza-Cukali
  • Veronica S Bae
  • Kristine B Bonacchi
  • Sonia Bernal
  • Sean M Duenas
  • Danielle Malkusz
  • Maruf Hossain
  • Arzman Badalia
  • Julie A Dela Cruz
  • Francis M Rotella
  • Salomon Kandov
  • Donald Huang
  • Elona Natanova
  • Gregory Fitzgerald
  • Shermeen Saeed
  • Gina Malkusz
  • Simon Gurgov
  • Isabelle Fuzailov
  • Theodore Banakos
  • Tracy Vongwattanakit
  • Stewart Martinez
  • Fizza Mahmud
  • S Singh
  • Abraham Rozvi
  • Leonid Kakuriev
  • Andrew Mohamed
  • Tara Bohn
  • A Samra
  • Michael Aviel
  • Elena Guskova
  • H Tayabali
  • Cami Liss
  • Michael Koen
  • N Khalifa
  • V S Bae
  • Michael Israel
  • V Galanopoulos
  • Tamar Kraft
  • Karen Ackroff
  • Amanda Winn
  • Magdalena Robak
  • Rachel Wapniak
  • Asher Kest
  • Esther Styler
  • Irina Dostova

Detail Information

Publications22

  1. pmc Effect of dopamine D1 and D2 receptor antagonism in the lateral hypothalamus on the expression and acquisition of fructose-conditioned flavor preference in rats
    Nicole J Amador
    Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York, NY, NY, United States
    Brain Res 1542:70-8. 2014
    ..The minimal effect of LH DA receptor antagonism upon fructose flavor-flavor conditioning differs with the ability of LH SCH injections to block the acquisition of glucose flavor-nutrient learning...
  2. pmc Dopamine signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala is required for the acquisition of fructose-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    Danielle C Malkusz
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Subprogram, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
    Behav Brain Res 233:500-7. 2012
    ..These data indicate that the acquisition of fructose-CFP is dependent on DA signaling in the mPFC and AMY...
  3. pmc Double-dissociation of D1 and opioid receptor antagonism effects on the acquisition of sucrose-conditioned flavor preferences in BALB/c and SWR mice
    Cheryl T Dym
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Sub Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY 11367, USA
    Pharmacol Biochem Behav 103:26-32. 2012
    ..DA D1 and opioid receptor signaling modulate acquisition and/or expression of sucrose-CFP in mice with significant strain differences observed...
  4. pmc Critical role of NMDA but not opioid receptors in the acquisition of fat-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    J A D Dela Cruz
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Sub Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
    Neurobiol Learn Mem 98:341-7. 2012
    ....
  5. ncbi Dopamine D1 and opioid receptor antagonism effects on the acquisition and expression of fat-conditioned flavor preferences in BALB/c and SWR mice
    Tamar T Kraft
    Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster of the Psychology Doctoral Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
    Pharmacol Biochem Behav 110:127-36. 2013
    ....
  6. pmc Glucose-conditioned flavor preference learning requires co-activation of NMDA and dopamine D1-like receptors within the amygdala
    Khalid Touzani
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA Electronic address
    Neurobiol Learn Mem 106:95-101. 2013
    ....
  7. pmc Role of gut nutrient sensing in stimulating appetite and conditioning food preferences
    Anthony Sclafani
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
    Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 302:R1119-33. 2012
    ..Continued research on the postoral stimulatory actions of nutrients may enhance our understanding of human food preference learning...
  8. pmc Roles of dopamine D1 and D2 receptors in the acquisition and expression of fat-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    J A D Dela Cruz
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Sub Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
    Neurobiol Learn Mem 97:332-7. 2012
    ..These data indicate limited DA D1 and D2 receptor signaling involvement in the expression and acquisition of a fat-CFP relative to previous robust effects for sugar-CFP...
  9. pmc Strain differences in sucrose- and fructose-conditioned flavor preferences in mice
    Alexander Pinhas
    Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York, United States
    Physiol Behav 105:451-9. 2012
    ..This may be related to differential training intakes of CS+ and CS- solutions: sweet sensitive mice consumed more CS- than CS+ during training while sub-sensitive mice consumed more CS+...
  10. pmc Dopamine and learned food preferences
    Anthony Sclafani
    Cognition, Brain and Behavior Doctoral Subprogram, Graduate Center, City University of New York, NY, United States
    Physiol Behav 104:64-8. 2011
    ..The findings suggest that DA signaling within different components of a distributed brain network is involved in sugar-based flavor preferences. A possible role of DA in conditioned increases in flavor acceptance is discussed...
  11. pmc Opioid mediation of starch and sugar preference in the rat
    Kristine B Bonacchi
    Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, NY 11210, USA
    Pharmacol Biochem Behav 96:507-14. 2010
    ..These findings suggest that the reward value of starch in liquid form is more dependent upon opioid signaling than is that of sugar...
  12. pmc Neuropharmacology of learned flavor preferences
    Khalid Touzani
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, NY 11210, USA
    Pharmacol Biochem Behav 97:55-62. 2010
    ..Other studies indicate that flavor preference conditioning by sugars is differentially influenced by glutamate receptor antagonism, cannabinoid receptor antagonism and benzodiazepine receptor activation...
  13. pmc Role of amygdala dopamine D1 and D2 receptors in the acquisition and expression of fructose-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    Sonia Bernal
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Subprogram, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY 11367, United States
    Behav Brain Res 205:183-90. 2009
    ..The results are similar to those produced by dopamine D1-like and D2-like antagonist injections into the nucleus accumbens shell which suggests that flavor conditioning involves a regionally distributed brain network...
  14. pmc Opioid receptor antagonism in the nucleus accumbens fails to block the expression of sugar-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    Sonia Y Bernal
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Subprogram, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
    Pharmacol Biochem Behav 95:56-62. 2010
    ..Therefore, while opioid drugs can have potent effects on sugar intake they appear less effective in altering sugar-conditioned flavor preferences...
  15. pmc Genetic variance contributes to dopamine and opioid receptor antagonist-induced inhibition of intralipid (fat) intake in inbred and outbred mouse strains
    Cheryl T Dym
    Department of Psychology, Queens College, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Flushing, NY 11367, USA
    Brain Res 1316:51-61. 2010
    ....
  16. pmc Acquisition of glucose-conditioned flavor preference requires the activation of dopamine D1-like receptors within the medial prefrontal cortex in rats
    Khalid Touzani
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, NY 11210, USA
    Neurobiol Learn Mem 94:214-9. 2010
    ..74%). Collectively, the results show that D1-like receptor activation in the medial prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role in the acquisition of flavor preference learning induced by the post-oral reinforcing properties of glucose...
  17. ncbi Dopamine D1-like receptor antagonism in amygdala impairs the acquisition of glucose-conditioned flavor preference in rats
    Khalid Touzani
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
    Eur J Neurosci 30:289-98. 2009
    ..A distributed network mediating flavor-nutrient incentive learning is discussed...
  18. pmc Lateral hypothalamus dopamine D1-like receptors and glucose-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    Khalid Touzani
    Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
    Neurobiol Learn Mem 92:464-7. 2009
    ..These results show that D1-like receptor activation in the lateral hypothalamus modulates the acquisition, but not the expression of flavor preference learning induced by the post-oral reinforcing properties of glucose...
  19. pmc Genetic variance contributes to dopamine receptor antagonist-induced inhibition of sucrose intake in inbred and outbred mouse strains
    Cheryl T Dym
    Department of Psychology, Queens College, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Flushing, NY 11367, USA
    Brain Res 1257:40-52. 2009
    ....
  20. ncbi Role of systemic endocannabinoid CB-1 receptor antagonism in the acquisition and expression of fructose-conditioned flavor-flavor preferences in rats
    Patricia Miner
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Sub Program, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, United States
    Pharmacol Biochem Behav 90:318-24. 2008
    ..The endogenous endocannabinoid system is therefore implicated in the maintenance of this form of learned flavor preferences...
  21. pmc Role of dopamine D1 and D2 receptors in the nucleus accumbens shell on the acquisition and expression of fructose-conditioned flavor-flavor preferences in rats
    Sonia Y Bernal
    Neuropsychology Doctoral Subprogram, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
    Behav Brain Res 190:59-66. 2008
    ..These data indicate that NAcS D1 and D2 antagonists significantly attenuated the expression of the fructose-CFP and did not block acquisition, but hastened extinction of fructose-CFP...
  22. ncbi Activation of dopamine D1-like receptors in nucleus accumbens is critical for the acquisition, but not the expression, of nutrient-conditioned flavor preferences in rats
    Khalid Touzani
    Cognition, Brain and Behaviour Doctoral Subprogram, Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY 11210, USA
    Eur J Neurosci 27:1525-33. 2008
    ..89% preference). These results demonstrate that D1-like receptors in the NAc shell and core are greatly involved in the acquisition, but less so in the expression, of a flavor preference conditioned by postingestive effects of glucose...