Four experiments evaluated the effect of levorphanol on ingestive behaviour of different groups of non-deprived pigeons. In experiments 1 and 2, levorphanol and its (+)stereoisomer dextrorphan were administered at three doses (0.25, 1 and 2 mg). As compared with control values, levorphanol dose-dependently reduced food intake. This anorexia persisted for at least 5 h post-injection. A late hyperdipsia was also observed. These changes were stereoselective, suggesting that they followed the binding of levorphanol to opiate receptors. In experiments 3 and 4, the anorexic effect of 1 mg levorphanol, but not its hyperdipsic effect, was partly antagonized by the concomitant administration of either 0.25 mg or 1 mg naloxone. Given alone at the dose of 1 mg, naloxone slightly and transiently reduced food, but not water, intake. These results are discussed in terms of the endorphinergic regulation of ingestive behaviour in birds.
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