, Volume 17, Issue 12, pp 1599-1607
Date: 30 Nov 2007

Increase in Ghrelin Levels After Weight Loss in Obese Zucker Rats is Prevented by Gastric Banding

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Gastric banding is thought to decrease appetite in addition to the mechanical effects of food restriction, although this has been difficult to demonstrate in human studies. Our aim was to investigate the changes in orexigenic signals in the obese Zucker rat after gastric banding.


Obese Zucker rats (fa/fa) were submitted to gastric banding (GBP), sham gastric banding fed ad libitum (sham), or sham operation with food restriction, pair-fed to the gastric banding group (sham-PF). Lean Zucker rats (fa/+) were used as additional controls. Body weight and food intake were daily recorded for 21 days after surgery when epididymal fat was weighed and fasting ghrelin and hypothalamic NPY mRNA expression were measured.


Gastric banding in obese Zucker rats resulted in a significant decrease of cumulative body weight gain and food intake. Furthermore, gastric banded rats were leaner than Sham-PF, as expressed by a significantly lower epididymal fat weight. Ghrelin levels of gastric banded rats were not increased when compared to sham-operated animals fed ad libitum and were significantly lower than the levels of weight matched sham-PF rats (1116.9 ± 103.3 g GBP vs 963.2 ± 54.3 g sham, 3,079.5 ± 221.6 sham-PF and 2,969.9 ± 150.9 g lean rats, p < 0.001); hypothalamic NPY mRNA expression was not increased in GBP when compared to sham-operated rats.


In obese Zucker rats, GBP prevents the increase in orexigenic signals that occur during caloric deprivation. Our data support the hypothesis that sustained weight loss observed after gastric banding does not depend solely on food restriction.