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

Chronic central melanocortin-4 receptor antagonism and central neuropeptide-Y infusion in rats produce increased adiposity by divergent pathways.

Increased hypothalamic neuropeptide-Y (NPY) action and disruption of the melanocortin (MC)-4 receptor both result in hyperphagia and obesity. To determine whether similar hormonal and metabolic mechanisms are involved in these two obesity syndromes, we investigated the time course of effects induced by 6-day intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of NPY (3.5 nmol/day) or the MC4 receptor antagonist HS014 (4.8 nmol/day) in rats pair-fed with vehicle-infused controls. The weight of white adipose tissue (WAT) deposits was increased after 6-day NPY and HS014 infusion compared with controls, and the increase was significantly greater in HS014- than in NPY-infused rats (retroperitoneal WAT: NPY 0.57 +/- 0.05; HS014 0.80 +/- 0.05; control 0.43 +/- 0.03% body wt, n = 8-13, P < 0.05). Plasma leptin was also increased in both experimental groups (NPY 10.6 +/- 1.9; HS014 4.4 +/- 0.9; control 2.0 +/- 0.1 ng/ml, n = 8-13, P < 0.05 for all comparisons). Basal plasma corticosterone and insulin levels were increased by ICV NPY infusion, whereas HS014-infused rats showed no significant increase in these parameters on any of 1-6 days of infusion. Both NPY and HS014 infusion potentiated intravenous glucose-induced (300 mg/kg) plasma insulin levels, and there was no difference in glycemia among groups. In NPY-infused rats, the plasma free fatty acid levels were decreased and triglyceridemia was increased compared with controls, but these parameters were unchanged in HS014-infused rats. Hepatic triglyceride content was significantly increased by HS014 but not by NPY infusion. Levels of uncoupling protein-1 mRNA in brown adipose tissue were significantly decreased after 6 days of HS014 infusion, similar to the effect of central NPY. Because ICV HS014 induced at least as great an increase in fat mass as ICV NPY and yet had divergent hormonal and metabolic effects, we conclude that MC4 receptor antagonism does not induce obesity solely by regulation of the endogenous NPY-ergic system.[1]


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