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Brain Res. 1996 Nov 11;739(1-2):293-300.

Differential effects of diet and obesity on high and low affinity sulfonylurea binding sites in the rat brain.

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Neurology Service (127C), DVA Medical Center, NJ 07018, USA.


The brain contains neurons which alter their firing rates when ambient glucose concentrations change. An ATP-sensitive K+ (Katp) channel on these neurons closes and increases cell firing when ATP is produced by intracellular glucose metabolism. Binding of the antidiabetic sulfonylurea drugs to a site linked to this channel has a similar effect. Here rats with a propensity to develop diet-induced obesity (DIO) or to be diet-resistant (DR) when fed a diet moderately high in fat, energy and sucrose (HE diet) had low and high affinity sulfonylurea binding assessed autoradiographically with [3H]glyburide in the presence or absence of Gpp(NH)p. Before HE diet exposure, chow-fed DIO- and DR-prone rats were separated by their high vs. low 24 h urine NE levels. In DR-prone rats, low affinity [3H]glyburide binding sites comprised up to 45% of total binding with highest concentrations in the hypothalamus and amygdala. But DIO-prone rats had few or no low affinity binding sites throughout the forebrain. High affinity [3H]glyburide binding was similar between phenotypes. When rats developed DIO after 3 months on HE diet, their low affinity binding increased slightly. DR rats fed the HE diet gained the same amount of weight as chow-fed controls but their low affinity binding sites were reduced to DIO levels and both were significantly lower than chow-fed controls. By contrast, high affinity [3H]glyburide binding was increased in DR rats throughout the forebrain so that it significantly exceeded that in both DIO and chow-fed control rats. These studies demonstrate a significant population of low affinity sulfonylurea binding sites throughout the forebrain which, along with high affinity sites, are regulated as a function of both weight gain phenotype and diet composition.

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