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J Neuroendocrinol. 1992 Jun;4(3):353-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.1992.tb00179.x.

Developmental aspect of differences in hypothalamic preproneuropeptide y messenger ribonucleic Acid content in lean and genetically obese zucker rats.

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1
Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA. Department of Physiology and Biophysics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA. Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA. Department of Anatomy, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio 44272, USA.

Abstract

The genetically obese Zucker rat is a well characterized model of early onset human obesity. Many of the endocrine and metabolic abnormalities of obese animals are common to other strains of genetically obese animals as well as morbidly obese humans. Neuropeptide Y (NPY), a potent orexigenic agent, was recently found to be elevated in adult obese animals compared to their lean littermates. In this study we first examined hypothalamic expression of preproNPY mRNA, using solution hybridization/ nuclease protection analysis, in phenotypically-matched, i.e. lean or obese, immature (5-week-old) and mature (33-week-old) animals. Although changes were not statistically different, a trend toward decreased hypothalamic preproNPY mRNA levels was detected in both lean and obese mature animals. We next compared hypothalamic preproNPY mRNA levels between age-matched lean and obese animals at 5, 14 and 33 weeks of age and found elevated preproNPY mRNA levels in obese rats at all three ages. These data suggest that increased levels of hypothalamic NPY are an early manifestation of the obese phenotype and may, therefore, contribute to hyperphagia and increased weight gain in obese Zucker rats.

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