Brain Research Bulletin vol:79 issue:2 pages:116-122
The glucose metabolism in the mediodorsal thalamus (MD) is increased in rats in the activity-based anorexia (ABA) model. In patients, electrical stimulation in hyperactive brain regions reduced symptoms in e.g. major depressive disorder and cluster headache. In two blinded randomised controlled experiments, we therefore examined the effects of high-frequency electrical stimulation and an electrolytic lesion in the MD in a validated rat model for anorexia nervosa. The ABA model was successfully replicated in all our experiments, with a reduction in body weight, food intake, and survival time and an increase in running activity.
In a first experiment, we evaluated the effect of electrical stimulation or a curative lesion in the MD on survival, body weight, food intake and locomotor activity in ABA rats. Electrical MD stimulation or an electrolytic MD lesion did not improve the symptoms of rats in the ABA model, compared to control groups.
In a second experiment, we investigated the effect of a preventive electrolytic lesion in the MD on rats in the ABA model. Although there was no significant improvement of survival, body weight and food intake, locomotor activity was significantly reduced in the lesion group compared to the control group.
Apart from this positive effect on running activity, we found no convincing evidence for the suitability of the MD as a neuromodulation target for anorexia nervosa patients.