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Rebolledo-Solleiro, Daniela; Roldan-Roldan, Gabriel; Diaz, Daniel; Velasco, Myrian; Larque, Carlos; Rico-Rosillo, Guadalupe; Bertha Vega-Robledo, Gloria; Zambrano, Elena; Hiriart, Marcia; Perez de la Mora, Miguel (2017)


PLoS ONE 12(5):
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Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of signs that increases the risk to develop diabetes mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular disease. In the last years, a growing interest to study the relationship between MS and psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety, has emerged obtaining conflicting results. Diet-induced MS rat models have only examined the effects of high-fat or mixed cafeteria diets to a limited extent. We explored whether an anxiety-like behavior was associated with MS in non-stressed rats chronically submitted to a high-sucrose diet (20% sucrose in drinking water) using three different anxiety paradigms: the shock-probe/burying test (SPBT), the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and the open-field test (OFT). Behaviorally, the high-sucrose diet group showed an increase in burying behavior in the SPBT. Also, these animals displayed both avoidance to explore the central part of the arena and a significant increase in freezing behavior in the OFT and lack of effects in the EPM. Also, high-sucrose diet group showed signs of an MS-like condition: significant increases in body weight and body mass index, abdominal obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and dyslipidemia. Plasma leptin and resistin levels were also increased. No changes in plasma corticosterone levels were found. These results indicate that rats under a 24-weeks high-sucrose diet develop an MS associated with an anxiety-like behavior. Although the mechanisms underlying this behavioral outcome remain to be investigated, the role of leptin is emphasized.