Obesity is a world-wide health problem that requires different
experimental perspectives to understand the onset of this disease, including the
neurobiological basis of food selection. From a molecular perspective, obesity has
been related with activity of several endogenous molecules, including the mitogenactivated
protein kinases (MAP-K). The aim of this study was to characterize MAP-K
expression in hedonic and learning and memory brain-associated areas such as
nucleus accumbens (AcbC) and hippocampus (HIPP) after food selection. We show
that animals fed with cafeteria diet during 14 days displayed an increase in p38
MAP-K activity in AcbC if chose cheese. Conversely, a diminution was observed in
animals that preferred chocolate in AcbC. Also, a decrease of p38 MAP-K
phosphorylation was found in HIPP in rats that selected either cheese or chocolate. Our data demonstrate a
putative role of MAP-K expression in food selection. These findings advance our understanding of
neuromolecular basis engaged in obesity.
Keywords: Chocolate, food selection, Hippocampus, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, western blot.
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