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Diabetes Metab J. 2012 Aug;36(4):293-9. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2012.36.4.293. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

Intracerebroventricular injection of metformin induces anorexia in rats.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Yeungnam University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Metformin, an oral biguanide insulin-sensitizing agent, is well known to decrease appetite. Although there is evidence that metformin could affect the brain directly, the exact mechanism is not yet known.

METHODS:

To evaluate whether metformin induces anorexia via the hypothalamus, various concentrations of metformin were injected into the lateral ventricle of rats through a chronically implanted catheter and food intake was measured for 24 hours. The hypothalamic neuropeptides associated with regulation of food intake were also analyzed following 1 hour of intracerebroventricular (ICV) injections of metformin.

RESULTS:

An ICV injection of metformin decreased food intake in a dose-dependent manner in unrestrained conscious rats. Hypothalamic phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase (pAMPK) increased by 3 µg with metformin treatment, but there was no further increase in pAMPK with increases in metformin dosage. The hypothalamic phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (pSTAT3) increased by 3 µg with metformin treatment, but, there was no further increase in pSTAT3 level following increases of metformin dosage. Hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin was elevated with metformin treatment, while neuropeptide Y was not significantly changed.

CONCLUSION:

Our results suggest that metformin induces anorexia via direct action in the hypothalamus and the increase in pSTAT3, at least in part, is involved in the process. However, hypothalamic pAMPK appears not to contribute to metformin-induced appetite reduction in normal rats. Further studies exploring new pathways connecting metformin and feeding regulation are needed.

KEYWORDS:

Appetite; Hypothalamus; Metformin; Pro-opiomelanocortin

PMID:
22950061
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3428418
Free PMC Article
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