The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) times the daily rhythms of behavioral processes including feeding. Beyond the SCN, the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC), involved in feeding regulation and metabolism, and the epithalamic lateral habenula (LHb), implicated in reward processing, show circadian rhythmic activity. These brain oscillators are functionally coupled to coordinate the daily rhythm of food intake. In rats, a free choice high-fat high-sugar (fcHFHS) diet leads to a rapid increase of calorie intake and body weight gain. Interestingly, under a fcHFHS condition, rats ingest a similar amount of sugar during day time (rest phase) as during night time (active phase), but keep the rhythmic intake of regular chow-food. The out of phase between feeding patterns of regular (chow) and highly rewarding food (sugar) may involve alterations of brain circadian oscillators regulating feeding. Here, we report that the fcHFHS diet is a successful model to induce calorie intake, body weight gain and fat tissue accumulation in mice, extending its effectiveness as previously reported in rats. Moreover, we observed that whereas in the SCN the day-night difference in the PER2 clock protein expression was similar between chow-fed and fcHFHS-fed animals, in the LHb, this day-night difference was altered in fcHFHS-exposed animals compared to control chow mice. These findings confirm previous observations in rats showing disrupted daily patterns of feeding behavior under a fcHFHS diet exposure, and extend our insights on the effects of the diet on circadian gene expression in brain clocks.
Appetite – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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