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Neuroreport. 2001 Oct 29;12(15):3201-4.

Inhibition by insulin of hypothalamic VMN neurons in rats overweight due to postnatal overfeeding.

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Johannes-Mueller-Institute of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine (Charité), Humboldt University Berlin, Tucholskystr. 2, D-10117 Berlin, Germany.


Single unit activity was studied in brain slices of normal and overweight adolescent rats, the latter grown up until weaning in small litters of three pups per mother (SL). Significantly fewer neurons of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN) were activated by insulin in overweight SL rats than in normal (NL) rats (chi2 p < 0.01). Although there is no significant difference between NL and SL rats in the number of VMN neurons responsive to insulin, the neurons differ in the type of reaction. In overweight SL rats neurons were mainly inhibited by insulin (Wilcoxon test p < 0.0001, n = 45). This altered response to the satiety signal insulin in postnatally overnourished rats might contribute to their persisting hyperphagia and overweight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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