Hindbrain catecholamine neurons convey gut-derived metabolic signals to an interconnected neuronal network in the hypothalamus and adjacent forebrain. These neurons are critical for short-term glycemic control, glucocorticoid and glucoprivic feeding responses, and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) signaling. Here we investigate whether these pathways also contribute to long-term energy homeostasis by controlling obesogenic sensitivity to a high-fat/high-sucrose choice (HFSC) diet. We ablated hindbrain-originating catecholaminergic projections by injecting anti-dopamine-β-hydroxylase-conjugated saporin (DSAP) into the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH) of male rats fed a chow diet for up to 12 wk or a HFSC diet for 8 wk. We measured the effects of DSAP lesions on food choices; visceral adiposity; plasma glucose, insulin, and leptin; and indicators of long-term ACTH and corticosterone secretion. We also determined lesion effects on the number of carbohydrate or fat calories required to increase visceral fat. Finally, we examined corticotropin-releasing hormone levels in the PVH and arcuate nucleus expression of neuropeptide Y (Npy), agouti-related peptide (Agrp), and proopiomelanocortin (Pomc). DSAP-injected chow-fed rats slowly increase visceral adiposity but quickly develop mild insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose. DSAP-injected HFSC-fed rats, however, dramatically increase food intake, body weight, and visceral adiposity beyond the level in control HFSC-fed rats. These changes are concomitant with 1) a reduction in the number of carbohydrate calories required to generate visceral fat, 2) abnormal Npy, Agrp, and Pomc expression, and 3) aberrant control of insulin secretion and glucocorticoid negative feedback. Long-term metabolic adaptations to high-carbohydrate diets, therefore, require intact forebrain catecholamine projections. Without them, animals cannot alter forebrain mechanisms to restrain increased visceral adiposity.
AJP - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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