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Hyperphagia and central mechanisms for leptin resistance during pregnancy.

Authors: Trujillo, ML  Spuch, C  Carro, E  Senaris, R 
Citation: Trujillo ML, etal., Endocrinology. 2011 Apr;152(4):1355-65. Epub 2011 Feb 8.
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:21303957
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1210/en.2010-0975

The purpose of this work was to study the central mechanisms involved in food intake regulation and leptin resistance during gestation in the rat. Sprague Dawley rats of 7, 13, and 18 d of pregnancy [days of gestation (G) 7, G13, and G18] were used and compared with nonpregnant animals in diestrus-1. Food intake was already increased in G7, before hyperleptinemia and central leptin resistance was established in midpregnancy. Leptin resistance was due to a reduction in leptin transport through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and to alterations in leptin signaling within the hypothalamus based on an increase in suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 levels and a blockade of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 phosphorylation (G13), followed by a decrease in LepRb and of Akt phosphorylation (G18). In early gestation (G7), no change in hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AgRP), or proopiomelanocortin (POMC) expression was shown. Nevertheless, an increase in NPY and AgRP and a decrease in POMC mRNA were observed in G13 and G18 rats, probably reflecting the leptin resistance. To investigate the effect of maternal vs. placental hormones on these mechanisms, we used a model of pseudogestation. Rats of 9 d of pseudogestation were hyperphagic, showing an increase in body and adipose tissue weight, normoleptinemia, and normal responses to iv/intracerebroventricular leptin on hypothalamic leptin signaling, food intake, and body weight. Leptin transport through the BBB, and hypothalamic NPY, AgRP and POMC expression were unchanged. Finally, the transport of leptin through the BBB was assessed using a double-chamber culture system of choroid plexus epithelial cells or brain microvascular endothelial cells. We found that sustained high levels of prolactin significantly reduced leptin translocation through the barrier, whereas progesterone and beta-estradiol did not show any effect. Our data demonstrate a dual mechanism of leptin resistance during mid/late-pregnancy, which is not due to maternal hormones and which allows the maintenance of hyperphagia in the presence of hyperleptinemia driven by an increase in NPY and AgRP and a decrease in POMC mRNA. By contrast, in early pregnancy maternal hormones induce hyperphagia without the regulation of hypothalamic NPY, AgRP, or POMC and in the absence of leptin resistance.

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CRRD Object Information
CRRD ID: 6480202
Created: 2012-03-14
Species: All species
Last Modified: 2012-03-14
Status: ACTIVE



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RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.