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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Corticotropin-releasing hormone-binding protein in brain and pituitary of food-deprived obese (fa/fa) Zucker rats.

The present study was conducted to verify whether experimental conditions such as obesity and food deprivation, which promote food intake and reduce thermogenesis, could modify the expression of the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)- binding protein ( BP) in the rat brain. In situ hybridization, histochemistry, and immunohistochemistry were used to assess the expression of CRH-BP in lean (Fa/?) and obese (fa/fa) Zucker rats that were fed ad libitum, food deprived for 24 h, or food deprived for 24 h and refed for 6 h. In both lean and obese rats, food deprivation led to a reduction in body weight that was accompanied by a reversible increase in plasma corticosterone levels. Food deprivation and, to a lesser degree, obesity induced the expression of CRH-BP mRNA in the dorsal part of the medial preoptic area (MPOA). This induction of the CRH-BP gene led to by food deprivation was confirmed by the appearance in the dorsal part of the MPOA of neurons immunoreactive to CRH-BP. Food deprivation (in particular) and obesity also increased the levels of CRH-BP mRNA in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). The enhanced CRH-BP expression in the MPOA and BLA in response to food deprivation was reversed by refeeding. In lean Fa/? rats, the CRH-BP mRNA level in the pituitary cells was significantly decreased after food deprivation and restored after refeeding. When food was provided ad libitum, the number of cells expressing CRH-BP in the anterior pituitary was significantly higher in lean rats than in obese animals. Food deprivation for 24 h decreased dramatically the number of pituitary cells expressing CRH-BP in lean rats. Altogether, the present results demonstrate that food deprivation and, to a lesser extent, obesity can selectively affect the expression of CRH-BP. Given both the inactivating effect of CRH-BP on the CRH system and the potential roles played by the MPOA and BLA in the thermogenic and anorectic effects of CRH, it can be argued that the induction of the CRH-BP gene in obesity and after food deprivation occurs as a mechanism to reduce energy expenditure and to stimulate food intake.[1]


  1. Corticotropin-releasing hormone-binding protein in brain and pituitary of food-deprived obese (fa/fa) Zucker rats. Timofeeva, E., Deshaies, Y., Picard, F., Richard, D. Am. J. Physiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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