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Defense of body weight against chronic caloric restriction in obesity-prone and -resistant rats.

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  • 1Neurology Service (127C), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, East Orange, NJ 07018-1095, USA.


Half of Sprague-Dawley rats develop and defend diet-induced obesity (DIO) or diet resistance (DR) when fed a high-energy (HE) diet. Here, adult male rats were made DIO or DR after 10 wk on HE diet. Then half of each group was food restricted for 8 wk on chow to maintain their body weights at 90% of their respective baselines. Rate and magnitude of weight loss were comparable, but maintenance energy intake and the degree of sympathetic activity (24-h urine norepinephrine) inhibition were 17 and 29% lower, respectively, in restricted DR than DIO rats. Restricted DIO rats reduced adipose depot weights, plasma leptin, and insulin levels by 35%. Restricted DR rats reduced none of these. When fed ad libitum, both DR and DIO rats returned to the body weights of their respective chow-fed phenotype controls within 2 wk. This was associated with increased adipose mass and leptin and insulin levels only in DIO rats. Thus DR rats appear to alter primarily their lean body mass, whereas DIO rats primarily alter their adipose mass during chronic caloric restriction and refeeding.

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