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Neuroscience. 2005;134(3):933-46.

Influence of feeding status on neuronal activity in the hypothalamus during lipopolysaccharide-induced anorexia in rats.

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  • 1Laboratoire des Régulations Neuroendocriniennes, EA 2972, Université Bordeaux I, 33400 Talence, France.


Fasting attenuates disease-associated anorexia, but the mechanisms underlying this effect are not well understood. In the present study, we investigated the extent to which a 48 h fast alters hypothalamic neuronal activity in response to the anorectic effects of lipopolysaccharide in rats. Male rats were fed ad libitum or fasted, and were injected with i.p. saline or lipopolysaccharide (250 microg/kg). Immunohistochemistry for Fos protein was used to visualize neuronal activity in response to lipopolysaccharide within selected hypothalamic feeding regulatory nuclei. Additionally, food intake, body weight, plasma interleukin-1 and leptin levels, and the expression of mRNA for appetite-related neuropeptides (neuropeptide Y, proopiomelanocortin and cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript) were measured in a time-related manner. Our data show that the pattern of lipopolysaccharide-induced Fos expression was similar in most hypothalamic nuclei whatever the feeding status. However, we observed that fasting significantly reduced lipopolysaccharide-induced Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus, in association with an attenuated lipopolysaccharide-induced anorexia and body weight loss. Moreover, lipopolysaccharide reduced fasting-induced Fos expression in the perifornical area of the lateral hypothalamus. Lipopolysaccharide-induced circulating levels of interleukin-1 were similar across feeding status. Finally, fasting, but not lipopolysaccharide, affected circulating level of leptin and appetite-related neuropeptides expression in the arcuate nucleus. Together, our data show that fasting modulates lipopolysaccharide-induced anorexia and body weight loss in association with neural changes in specific hypothalamic nuclei.

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