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Brain Res Bull. 2000 Apr;51(6):515-21.

Effects of food restriction on the hypothalamic prepro-orexin gene expression in genetically obese mice.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan.


Orexins, which are identical to hypocretins, are novel hypothalamic orexigenic peptides. We examined the effects of food restriction on the expression of the prepro-orexin gene in control (C57Bl/6J) and genetically obese mice (ob/ob and db/db), using in situ hybridization histochemistry. Dry food was given 3 g/day to each obese mouse for 2 weeks. Food restriction caused a significant increase of the prepro-orexin gene expression in obese mice in comparison with ad libitum fed animals. Although the levels of the expression of the prepro-orexin gene in obese mice were significantly lower than those in C57Bl/6J mice during feeding ad libitum, food restriction caused an increase in the expression of the prepro-orexin gene in the hypothalamus of obese mice. The expression of the neuropeptide Y (NPY) gene was increased significantly in the arcuate nucleus of obese mice compared to that of control mice during feeding ad libitum. Food restriction for 2 weeks also caused a significant increase of the expression in the NPY gene in all groups. These results indicate that the hypothalamic prepro-orexin gene could be upregulated by food restriction without leptin signal in genetically obese mice.

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