Furosemide, sodium appetite, and ingestive behavior

Robert F. Lundy, Mary Blair, Nelli Horvath, Ralph Norgren

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26 Scopus citations


Sodium appetite is often produced experimentally by using the diuretic furosemide (Furo) to induce a rapid loss of urinary sodium. The present experiments were designed to investigate the dose-dependent relationship between renal and behavioral responses to Furo. We compared the effects of five different Furo doses (0.5, 1, 2, 6, and 10 mg) on 3% NaCl intake, water intake, Na+-free chow intake, urine quantity, electrolyte balance, and weight gain in rats. The Na+ loss produced by Furo injection was dose dependent from 0.5 to 10 mg and did not change across repeated depletions. There was only a weak correspondence, however, between these dose-dependent changes in renal function and subsequent sodium appetite. This suggests that net Na+ loss is not the only determinant of sodium intake. Moreover, at the two higher doses of Furo, both food intake and weight dropped significantly, but these did not change following the three lower ones. Given these substantial side effects, the preferred dose of Furo for inducing a salt appetite should not exceed 2.0 mg.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-458
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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