Objective: Several hormones expressed in white adipose tissue influence food intake at the central level. We sought to determine whether resistin, a circulating adipose-derived hormone in rodents, has actions on the hypothalamus by determining the effects of central resistin injection on food intake and on hypothalamic Fos protein expression.
Design: As resistin expression in adipose tissue is influenced by altered. nutritional status, we studied the effect of central resistin in both fed and pre-fasted rats.
Results: In fasted rats, central injection of resistin decreased food intake acutely and increased the number of cells that express Fos protein in the arcuate nucleus but not in any other hypothalamic structure. The effect on food intake was dose-dependent and did not result in the formation of a. conditioned taste aversion.
Conclusions: Taken together, these results provide the first evidence documenting a central action of resistin, which could be involved in a feedback loop targeting the hypothalamus. On the other hand, since we observed resistin mRNA in the arcuate and ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus, it is also possible that brain-derived resistin serves as a neuropeptide involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis. However, since resistin-induced satiety was modest and transient, as central administration for several days did not affect body weight, the physiological relevance and therapeutic potential of the observed principal phenomenon may be limited.