Sex Differences in the Anorexigenic Effects of Dexfenfluramine and Amphetamine in Baboons

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The anorexigenic effects of intramuscular d-amphetamine HCl (0.06–0.50 mg/kg) and dexfenfluramine HCl (0.25–2.0 mg/kg) were determined in experimentally naïve baboons. A group of 8 adult male baboons was tested prior to a group of 7 adult female baboons. A 120-min session occurred at 9:00 a.m. during which baboons could respond for food pellets. Drug was given 30 min prior to the 9:00 a.m. morning session. Beginning at 11:00 a.m., baboons had a 6-hr multiple-meal session during which they could have up to 4 food pellet meals. Food was not available overnight, but food was available for 90 min upon awakening such that drug effects were evaluated in non–food-deprived animals. Under baseline conditions baboons earned between 30 and 70 pellets during the morning session and another 175–225 pellets during the remainder of the day. Amphetamine and dexfenfluramine produced dose-dependent decreases in food pellet intake during both the morning food session and the later multiple-meal session. Whereas there were minimal sex differences in the effects of dexfenfluramine, many of the amphetamine doses produced greater decreases in pellet intake in males than females. These results are discordant with much of the rodent literature on abuse-related drug effects that generally reports greater effects of amphetamine in females than males. Additional work is needed to replicate the current findings in nonhuman primates.

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