Long-term food restriction prevents ageing-associated central leptin resistance in wistar rats
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- Fernández-Galaz, C., Fernández-Agulló, T., Pérez, C. et al. Diabetologia (2002) 45: 997. doi:10.1007/s00125-002-0851-4
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Aims/hypothesis. Ageing is associated with insulin and leptin resistance in mammals. These alterations might be caused by the increased adiposity associated with ageing, by ageing alone or both. We studied whether leptin resistance occurs at the central level in the Wistar rat and we aimed to discriminate between the effects of ageing from those of the increased adiposity associated with ageing.
Methods. Leptin was infused intracerebroventricularly at a constant rate in young adult, old and old Wistar rats fasted for 3 months, using osmotic pumps. The effects on body weight, daily food intake, Lee index, adiposity and serum leptin values were analysed. The effect of food restriction on the expression of the long form of leptin receptor in the hypothalamus was also studied.
Results. Leptin decreased daily food intake and body weight in young and old Wistar rats. With a dose of 10 µg/day similar responses were obtained in young and old rats but with a dose of 0.2 µg/day, only young rats showed decreases in these parameters. Food-restriction in old rats lowered adiposity and serum leptin to values close to those of young rats, recovered responsiveness to i.c.v. administration of leptin at the dose of 0.2 µg/day and increased leptin receptor expression in the hypothalamus.
Conclusion/interpretation. Our data show that old Wistar rats have a decreased response to leptin at the central level. Food-restriction recovers leptin responsiveness and increases leptin receptor in the hypothalamus suggesting that adiposity plays a key role in the development of leptin resistance associated with ageing.