Abstract Title:

Studies of different female rat models of hypothalamic obesity.

Abstract Source:

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2011;24(3-4):131-7. PMID: 21648279

Abstract Author(s):

Clinton Elfers, Melissa Ralston, Christian L Roth

Article Affiliation:

Seattle Children's Research Institute, Center of Integrative Brain Research, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.


Hypothalamic obesity (HO) is a major and unsolved problem in patients with medial hypothalamic lesions and is associated with hyperinsulinemia and hyperleptinemia. The purpose of this study was to create a rodent model that mimics metabolic changes in HO for use in therapeutic testing. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were used to test the individual and combined effects of two types of medial hypothalamic lesions: arcuate nucleus (ARC) lesions by injection of monosodium glutamate at neonatal age, and ventromedial nucleus (VMN) lesions by passing an anodal current through an electrode placed in the VMN at age 80 days. Adiposity in ARC-lesioned animals was associated with decreased food intake and stunted growth, while VMN lesions were associated with hyperphagia but not reduced growth. The greatest weight gain (weight at age 200 days 712 +/- 65 vs. 451 +/- 19 g in controls), hyperphagia (food intake 10 days following surgery 33 +/- 0.8 vs. 18.5 +/- 0.7 g/day in sham-treated rats), hyperinsulinemia and hyperleptinemia occurred in rats that received both ARC and VMN lesions. Thus, the combined medial hypothalamic lesions result in an obesity phenotype similar to that of patients that suffer from HO and are consequently more suitable for testing potential therapeutics for this disorder than lesions of single hypothalamic nuclei.

Study Type : Animal Study

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