Sex differences in fluid intake stimulated by angiotensin II (AngII) have been reported, but the direction of the differences is inconsistent. To resolve these discrepancies, we measured water intake by male and female rats given AngII. Males drank more than females, but when intake was normalized to body weight, the sex difference was reversed. Weight-matched males and females, however, had no difference in intake. Using a linear mixed model analysis, we found that intake was influenced by weight, sex, and AngII dose. We used linear regression to disentangle these effects further. Comparison of regression coefficients revealed sex and weight differences at high doses of AngII. Specifically, after 100ng AngII, weight was a predictor of intake in males, but not in females. Next, we tested for differences in AngII-induced intake in male and females allowed to drink both water and saline. Again, males drank more water than females, but females showed a stronger preference for saline. Drinking microstructure analysis suggested that these differences were mediated by postingestive signals and more bottle switches by the females. Finally, we probed for differences in the expression of components of the renin-angiotensin system in the brains of males and females and found sex differences in several genes in discrete brain regions. These results provide new information to help understand key sex differences in ingestive behaviors, and highlight the need for additional research to understand baseline sex differences, particularly in light of the new NIH initiative to balance sex in biomedical research.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Hormones and Behavior, v. 93, p. 128-136.

© 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

This manuscript version is made available under the CC‐BY‐NC‐ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

The document available for download is the author's post-peer-review final draft of the article.

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Funding Information

This work was supported by NIH grants HL091911 and DK107500 to DD and DK098841 to JS.