Activity-based anorexia (ABA) is a commonly used rodent model of anorexia nervosa that is based on observations made in rats decades ago. In recently published work, we describe using this paradigm to model vulnerability and resilience to anorexia nervosa in mice, where vulnerability is characterized by hyperactivity and life-threatening weight loss and resilience is characterized by adaptation and weight stabilization. Using genetically modified hyperdopaminergic mice, we also demonstrate that increased dopamine augments vulnerability to ABA. Here, we briefly review our findings and discuss how obtaining vulnerable and resilient phenotypes enhances utility of the ABA model for understanding the neurobiological basis of anorexia nervosa. We comment on our dopamine findings and close by discussing implications for clinical treatment.
Activity-based anorexia, Anorexia nervosa, Dopamine, Resilience, Vulnerability, Caloric restriction, Hyperactivity, Mice, Animal model, C57BL/6