Leptin reduces food intake but does not alter weight regain following food deprivation in the rat

  • Velkoska E
  • Morris M
  • Burns P
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: When animals are allowed free access to food following an extended period of food restriction, body weight is steadily restored to the pre-food restriction level, ie to a specific body weight 'set-point'. We tested the proposition that leptin is used as a signal by the brain to regulate body weight 'set-point'. To this end, we determined whether long-term leptin infusion in rats would prevent the normal weight regain after food restriction. METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats received leptin (leptin-treated) or saline (vehicle-treated) by intravenous infusion. After a 2 week run-in period, food intake was adjusted to 50% of each individual's normal intake for 12 days. Two days prior to the return of unlimited access to food, one group of animals received continuous leptin infusion at 3 micro g/h for the next 14 days. Blood samples taken from the tail vein were used to determine leptin concentrations. A third group of animals that did not undergo food restriction but received saline infusion served as control. As leptin acts in the brain to modulate neuropeptide Y (NPY) levels, hypothalamic NPY content was measured at the end of the study. RESULTS: Food restriction to 50% normal intake for 12 days induced a 20% weight loss and significant reductions in plasma leptin compared with non-restricted control rats (0.5+/-0.1 vs 2.6+/-0.4 ng/ml, P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Body weight
  • Hypothalamus
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Obesity
  • Set point

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  • E. Velkoska

  • M. J. Morris

  • P. Burns

  • R. S. Weisinger

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