Sodium depletion and maternal separation in the suckling rat increase its salt intake when adult

Physiology & Behavior
Micah LeshemS Del Canho


To establish whether neonatal sodium depletion increases the adult's avidity for NaCl, 12-day-old suckling pups were injected with the natriuretic-diuretic furosemide (1 mg) while with their dams. The injections surged plasma aldosterone, and when the rats were adult (70 days), their spontaneous intake of 3% NaCl was increased. Additional experiments investigated whether maternal separation has a similar effect and could thus be a source of individual variation in salt intake of the adult. Fifteen-day-old pups were separated from their dams for 24 h in an incubator. When adult, their intake of 3% NaCl was increased. Availability of saline during maternal separation obviated the effect. The increase in adult intake of 3% NaCl was specific insofar as drinking of water was not increased similarly. The results show that the adult rat's avidity for sodium can be increased by postnatal natriuresis and possibly stress. The implications of the findings are discussed.


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Related Concepts

Separation Anxiety Disorder of Childhood
Aldosterone, (+-)-Isomer
Salix - substance
Diuretic Effect
Sodium, Dietary
Animals, Suckling
Sodium Chloride

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