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Brain Behav Immun. 2010 Jan;24(1):119-26. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.09.002. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

Transgenic mice with astrocyte-targeted production of interleukin-6 are resistant to high-fat diet-induced increases in body weight and body fat.

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Institute of Neurosciences, Department of Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Faculty of Biosciences, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a major cytokine involved in both normal physiological brain functions and underlying significant neuropathology. IL-6 has been suggested to play a role in the control of body weight but the results are somewhat controversial. In this study we have challenged transgenic mice with astrocyte-targeted IL-6 expression (GFAP-IL6 mice) with a high-fat diet (55% kcal from fat) versus a control diet (10%). The results demonstrate that the GFAP-IL6 mice are resistant to high-fat diet-induced increases in body weight and body fat, apparently without altering food intake and with no evidences of increased sympathetic tone. The high-fat diet-induced impaired responses to an insulin tolerance test (ITT), and to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in both genotypes. The GFAP-IL6 mice did not differ from littermate wild-type (WT) mice in ITT, but they were more glucose intolerant following the high-fat diet feeding. In summary, the present results demonstrate that brain-specific IL-6 controls body weight which may be a significant factor in physiological conditions and/or in diseases causing neuroinflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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