BACKGROUND: Long term permanent changes of eating behavior and concomitant structural changes in the CNS are matter of debade in literature. Often there is not enough distinction beween acute and chronic exposure to corticoids in evaluating its effect on behavior and/or brain structural changes. For behavioral evaluation we used well established conditioned taste aversion (CTA) paradigm and coronal Nissl-stained brain sections for evaluation of neuroanatomical changes. The CTA is part of complex adaptive behavioral processes controling food intake. It is well established methodological tool for study of biological substrates of learning and memory.
AIM: Our hypothesis was that long term changes in laboratory rat behavior induced by exogenous corticosterone are not accompanyied by neurohistological changes in the rat brain, previously described in literature.
RESULTS: Firstly, our results support CTA paradigm as promising tool for testing chronic influence of stress hormones on eating behavior and memory. The results support fact that previous long term elevated corticosterone levels disrupt normal eating behavior and it could also lead to structural changes, which could be biological substrates of behavioral changes. The fact we have not found significant morphological changes in brain strengthen the notion of possible subcellular impairment taking place instead of simple neuronal loss.