Hippocampal CA1 local field potential oscillations induced by olfactory cue of liked food

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Eating motivation is induced not only by negative energy balance but also food related cues. However, neural processing for acquisition of learned food preference remains to be established. This study aimed to identify hippocampal neural signaling in response to olfactory cue (chocolate scent) after completion of repetitive chocolate sessions. Male Swiss albino mice implanted with intracranial electrode into the hippocampus were used for local field potential (LFP) recording. Animals were given chocolate sessions (a piece of 2 g chocolate per each mouse to eat on day 1, 3, 5 and 7). Hippocampal CA1 LFP signals and exploratory behavior of animals receiving chocolate scent were analyzed before and after chocolate sessions. The experiment was performed in a place preference-like apparatus with the zones of normal food pellet and chocolate (both kept in a small perforated cup for smell dispersion) at the opposite ends. Following chocolate sessions, time spent in a chocolate zone and CA1 LFP patterns were analyzed in comparison to control levels. Two-way ANOVA revealed significant increase in time spent seeking for chocolate. Frequency analysis of LFP power spectra revealed significant increases in delta and theta powers. Phase-amplitude analysis showed significant increase in maximal modulation index and decrease in frequency for phase of theta-high gamma coupling. Taken together, neural signaling in the hippocampus was sensitive to chocolate olfactory cue that might underlie learning process in response to repeated chocolate consumptions that primed intense food approaching behavior. Ultimately, these LFP patterns might reflect motivation to eat and predict feeding probability.

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