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Hypothalamic Control of Food Intake in Rats and Cats *

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HYPOTHALAMIC CONTROL OF FOOD INTAKE IN RATS AND CATS* BAL K. ANANDt AND JOHN R. BROBECK Marked variations in food intake have been described in various species following injury to certain parts of the hypothalamus, including an increased food intake or hyperphagia caused by lesions in the medial hypo- thalamus, especially lesions in or ventrolateral to the ventromedial nucleus; this hyperphagia leads to obesity."1418' 20 24 A decrease or complete inhibition of food intake has also been reported as an incidental finding in animals with hypothalamic lesions, by Hetherington and Ranson16 in rats, and by Clark, Magoun, and Ranson'0 during their study of temperature regulation in cats. Similar observations were also made in cats by Ingram, Barris, and Ranson," by Ranson' in monkeys, and by Anand and Brobeck' in certain rats which were being prepared for studies of food intake and activity. The present investigation, therefore, was undertaken as an attempt to localize in the hypothalamus the areas the destruction of which leads to diminution or failure of eating with emaciation, as destruction of certain other areas leads to overeating and obesity. As a result of these studies a small, well- localized area has been found in the lateral hypothalamus; the bilateral destruction of this area is followed by a complete absence of spontaneous eating.2 This area has been tentatively designated as a "feeding center." An attempt has also been made to discover whether there is any correlation between different areas of the hypothalamus in the regulation of food intake. MATERIALS AND METHODS In a series of 94 female albino rats of the Sprague-Dawley strain, electrolytic lesions were placed in different areas of the hypothalamus with the aid of the Horsley-Clarke instrument as adapted by Clark9 for use on the rat. Evipal was used for anesthesia (12 mg./100 g. body weight). The lesions were made with a unipolar electrode, by a direct current for 15 seconds, its intensity ranging from 0.8 to 2 milliamperes dependi

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