Preobesity in the infant OLETF rat: The role of suckling

Mariana Schroeder, Yael Lavi-Avnon, Orna Zagoory-Sharon, Aron Weller, Timothy H. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rat model of obesity, which lacks CCK1 receptors, has been extensively investigated over the last decade. We have recently focused on the early developmental stages of this strain, finding that OLETF pups are heavier than controls from birth and hyperphagic already from postnatal (PN) Day 2. OLETF mothers present differential maternal behavior patterns and increased nursing time and frequency, which might contribute to the preobese characteristics of the pups. The present investigation examined the pups' ability to gain weight from the nursing episodes. First, we measured the pups' weight gain from one nursing bout from their own dam. Next we examined the pups' weight gain after a feeding competition test with control pups from foster dams of both strains. OLETF pups gained more weight than controls from their own dams on PN Week 1 due to a higher suckling rate (and/or efficacy) and on PN Week 3 due to increased nursing time. When competing with control pups, OLETF pups gained significantly more weight after the same nursing bout, regardless of the strain of the mother. Body mass index (BMI) was significantly higher in OLETF pups compared to controls. The maternal parameters assessed from the experiment were latencies to pup retrieval and to nursing, and nursing duration; differences were only observed in nursing time. OLETF dams increased their average nursing time over the PN weeks, while control dams decreased their nursing time toward weaning. The results suggest an important contribution of OLETF pups toward their own preobese development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-691
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • CCK
  • Obesity
  • Weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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