Effect of septal lesions on food intake, and body weight regulation in male and female albino rats
Background and Aim: Presently, obesity is among the major health problems, which is, in general, more common in females than males. As the exact mechanism of gender difference in the neural regulation of obesity has not been fully elucidated, the effective control of this problem remains unanswered. Therefore, this study was an attempt to assess the gender difference in food intake (FI), water intake (WI), and body weight (BW) gain by the mesolimbic centers that profoundly influence the behavioral aspects of feeding in albino Wistar rats. Methods: Twenty‑four albino Wistar rats were divided equally into medial septal and lateral septal groups with 6 male and 6 female rats in each. Bilateral electrolytic lesion of the respective nuclei was performed by stereotaxy and postlesion parameters were recorded. Results: Following lesion of medial septal nuclei, FI increased significantly in both male (P < 0.05) and female (P < 0.001) rats, but the percentage increase was more in females than in males. Similarly, BW also increased significantly in both male (P < 0.05) and female (P < 0.001) rats, but the percentage increase was significantly more in females (P < 0.001). Following lesion of lateral septal nuclei, WI increased significantly in both male (P < 0.001) and female rats (P < 0.05), but the percentage increase was significantly more in male rats. Conclusion: The above‑mentioned findings suggest that medial septal nucleus strongly inhibits feeding and adiposity behaviors in female rats, and lateral septal nucleus strongly inhibits the drinking behavior in male rats.