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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Apr;278(4):E677-83.

Effects of fructose and glucose on plasma leptin, insulin, and insulin resistance in lean and VMH-lesioned obese rats.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8666, Japan.


To determine the influence of dietary fructose and glucose on circulating leptin levels in lean and obese rats, plasma leptin concentrations were measured in ventromedial hypothalamic (VMH)-lesioned obese and sham-operated lean rats fed either normal chow or fructose- or glucose-enriched diets (60% by calories) for 2 wk. Insulin resistance was evaluated by the steady-state plasma glucose method and intravenous glucose tolerance test. In lean rats, glucose-enriched diet significantly increased plasma leptin with enlarged parametrial fat pad, whereas neither leptin nor fat-pad weight was altered by fructose. Two weeks after the lesions, the rats fed normal chow had marked greater body weight gain, enlarged fat pads, and higher insulin and leptin compared with sham-operated rats. Despite a marked adiposity and hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance was not increased in VMH-lesioned rats. Fructose brought about substantial insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia in both lean and obese rats, whereas glucose led to rather enhanced insulin sensitivity. Leptin, body weight, and fat pad were not significantly altered by either fructose or glucose in the obese rats. These results suggest that dietary glucose stimulates leptin production by increasing adipose tissue or stimulating glucose metabolism in lean rats. Hyperleptinemia in VMH-lesioned rats is associated with both increased adiposity and hyperinsulinemia but not with insulin resistance. Dietary fructose does not alter leptin levels, although this sugar brings about hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, suggesting that hyperinsulinemia compensated for insulin resistance does not stimulate leptin production.

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