The estrogenic reduction in water intake stimulated by dehydration involves estrogen receptor alpha and a potential role for GLP-1

Julia A. Howell, Andrea A. Edwards, Jessica Santollo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is well documented that estrogens inhibit fluid intake. Most of this research, however, has focused on fluid intake in response to dipsogenic hormone and/or drug treatments in euhydrated rats. Additional research is needed to fully characterize the fluid intake effects of estradiol in response to true hypovolemia. As such, the goals of this series of experiments were to provide a detailed analysis of water intake in response to water deprivation in ovariectomized female rats treated with estradiol. In addition, these experiments also tested if activation of estrogen receptor alpha is sufficient to reduce water intake stimulated by water deprivation and tested for a role of glucagon like peptide-1 in the estrogenic control of water intake. As expected, estradiol reduced water intake in response to 24 and 48 h of water deprivation. The reduction in water intake was associated with a reduction in drinking burst number, with no change in drinking burst size. Pharmacological activation of estrogen receptor alpha reduced intake. Finally, estradiol-treatment caused a leftward shift in the behavioral dose response curve of exendin-4, the glucagon like peptide-1 agonist. While the highest dose of exendin-4 reduced 10 min intake in both oil and estradiol-treated rats, the intermediate dose only reduced intake in rats treated with estradiol. Together, this series of experiments extends previous research by providing a more thorough behavioral analysis of the anti-dipsogenic effect of estradiol in dehydrated rats, in addition to identifying the glucagon like peptide-1 system as a potential bioregulator involved in the underlying mechanisms by which estradiol reduces water intake in the female rat.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114484
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - Mar 15 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Inc.


  • Drinking microstructure
  • Estradiol
  • Fluid intake
  • Satiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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