Effect of a putative ERα antagonist, MPP, on food intake in cycling and ovariectomized rats

Jessica Santollo, Lisa A. Eckel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Estrogens exert many of their behavioral effects by binding to nuclear estrogen receptor (ER) proteins, ERα and ERβ. Recent studies involving ER knockout mice and selective ER agonists suggest that estradiol's anorexigenic effect is mediated via activation of ERα. To investigate this hypothesis, we examined whether the presumptive ERα antagonist, MPP, could block estradiol's anorexigenic effect. In the first series of experiments, the effects of MPP on food intake and uterine weight were monitored in ovariectomized (OVX) rats treated with either a physiological dose of estradiol benzoate (EB) or a selective ERα agonist (PPT). In the final experiment, food intake was monitored following acute administration of MPP in ovarian-intact (cycling) female rats. Contrary to our hypothesis, MPP failed to attenuate either EB's or PPT's ability to decrease food intake and increase uterine weight in OVX rats. However, in ovarian-intact rats, a similar regimen of MPP treatment attenuated the phasic decrease in food intake that is associated with estrus. We conclude that MPP may be a useful tool to investigate the behavioral actions of endogenous estradiol, but may have limited utility in studying the behavioral effects of exogenous estradiol in OVX rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 25 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the NIH: DK-073936 (LAE) and NS-062667 (JS).


  • Estradiol
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Methyl-piperidino-pyrazole
  • PPT
  • SERM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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