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Metabolism. 2012 Sep;61(9):1312-20. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2012.02.011. Epub 2012 Mar 24.

Intestinal fatty acid infusion modulates food preference as well as calorie intake via the vagal nerve and midbrain-hypothalamic neural pathways in rats.

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  • 1Division of Neurology, Respirology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, 5200 Kihara, Kiyotake, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan.


The intestine plays important roles in the regulation of feeding behavior by sensing macronutrients. Intestinal fatty acids strongly suppress food intake, but little is known about whether intestinal fatty acids affect food preference. We investigated the effects of jejunal fatty acids infusion on food preference by conducting two-diet choice experiments in rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and a high-carbohydrate diet (HCD). Jejunal linoleic acid (18:2) infusion reduced HFD intake dose-dependently, while HCD intake increased with the middle dose of the infusion we examined (100 μL/h) and reduced to the control level with the higher doses (150 and 200 μL/h). α-Linolenic acid (18:3), but not caprylic acid (8:0), altered the food preference and total calorie intake in the same manner as linoleic acid. Linoleic acid infusion dose-dependently increased plasma glucagon-like peptide-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin levels, but not ghrelin levels. Subdiaphragmatic vagotomy or midbrain transection prevented the change in food preference and total calorie intake by linoleic acid infusion. Jejunal linoleic acid infusion increased norepinephrine turnover in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, while intracerebroventricular injection of idazoxan, an α2-adrenergic receptor (AR) antagonist, suppressed the increased HCD intake, but did not affect the decreased HFD intake. These findings indicated that intestinal long-chain fatty acids modulated food preference as well as total calorie intake via the vagal nerve and midbrain-hypothalamic neural pathways. The effects of the α2-AR antagonist in the brain suggested that the brain distinctly controlled HCD and HFD intake in response to jejunal linoleic acid infusion.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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