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

Hypothalamic control of photoperiod-induced cycles in food intake, body weight, and metabolic hormones in rams.

This study used a hypothalamo-pituitary disconnected (HPD) sheep model to investigate the central regulation of long-term cycles in voluntary food intake (VFI) and body weight (BW). VFI, BW, and circulating concentrations of metabolic hormones [alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), insulin, and leptin] were measured in HPD and control Soay rams exposed to alternating 16 weekly periods of long and short days for 80 wk. In the controls, the physiology was cyclical with a 32-wk periodicity corresponding to the lighting regimen. VFI and BW increased under long days to a maximum early into short days, and there were associated increases in blood concentrations of alpha-MSH, insulin, and leptin. In the HPD rams, there were no significant photoperiod-induced changes in any of the parameters. VFI increased after surgery for 8 wk and then gradually declined, although BW increased progressively and the HPD rams became obese. Concentrations of alpha-MSH, insulin, and leptin in peripheral blood were permanently increased (>200%), and levels of IGF-1 decreased (<55%). The HPD lesion effectively destroyed the entire median eminence [no nerve terminals immunostained for tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone] and the adjacent arcuate nucleus (no perikarya immunostained for proopiomelanocortin or TH, and no cells expressed neuropeptide Y mRNA). The results support the conclusion that arcuate hypothalamic systems generate long-term rhythms in VFI, BW, and energy balance.[1]


  1. Hypothalamic control of photoperiod-induced cycles in food intake, body weight, and metabolic hormones in rams. Lincoln, G.A., Rhind, S.M., Pompolo, S., Clarke, I.J. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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