Title

Perinatal Testosterone Contributes To Mid-to-post Pubertal Sex Differences In Risk For Binge Eating In Male And Female Rats

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2018

Publication Title

Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Publisher

American Psychological Association Inc.

Volume

127

Issue

2

First page number:

239

Last page number:

250

Abstract

Exposure to testosterone early in life may contribute to sex differences and pubertal changes in risk for eating pathology (i.e., females > males, after pubertal onset). Specifically, perinatal testosterone permanently alters brain structure/function and drives the masculinization of several sex-differentiated behaviors. However, the effects of perinatal testosterone are often not evident until puberty when increases in gonadal hormones activate the expression of sex typical behavior, including eating behaviors (e.g., chow intake; saccharin preference) in rodents. Despite perinatal testosterone's masculinizing effects on general feeding behavior, it remains unknown if perinatal testosterone exposure contributes to sex differences in pathological eating. The current study addressed this gap by examining whether perinatal testosterone exposure decreases risk for binge eating proneness after pubertal onset in male and female rats. Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 40 oil-treated control females; n = 39 testosterone-treated females; n = 40 oil-treated control males) were followed longitudinally across pre-to-early puberty, mid-to-late puberty, and adulthood. The binge eating prone (BEP)/binge eating resistant (BER) rodent model was used to identify individual differences in binge eating proneness across the dimensional spectrum. As expected, testosterone-treated females and control males showed masculinized (i.e., lower) risk for binge eating as compared to control females, but only after midpuberty. These animal data are significant in suggesting that perinatal testosterone exposure may protect against binge eating and underlie sex differences in binge eating prevalence during and after puberty. © 2018 American Psychological Association.

Keywords

Animal models; Binge eating; Puberty; Sex difference; Testosterone

Language

English

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