Circulating hormones and hypothalamic energy balance: Regulatory gene expression in the Lou/C and Wistar rats

Sharon E Mitchell, Ruben Nogueiras, Kellie Rance, D. Vernon Rayner, Sharon Wood, Carlos Dieguez, Lynda M. Williams*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


To ascertain the mechanisms underlying low caloric intake and low body weight in the Lou/C rat, the circulating hormone levels and gene expression of hypothalamic peptides and receptors important in energy balance and the induction of suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 (SOCS3) gene expression in response to leptin challenge were compared with Wistar rats. Plasma leptin levels were lower in the Lou/C rat, as were levels of rat corticosterone, TSH and T4 but not T3. Ghrelin levels were higher in the Lou/C rat. Total leptin receptor (Ob-R) and the long form of the leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) gene expression were lower in the arcuate (ARC) and ventromedial nuclei (VMN) in Lou/C rat. Ghrelin receptor expression in the ARC and VMN was lower in Lou/C than in Wistar rats. However, agouti gene-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) gene expression were higher in the Lou/C rat. There was no difference in the level of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript gene expression in the ARC, but both were higher in the paraventricular nuclei of the Lou/C breed. There was no difference in Ob-R gene expression in, or [125I]leptin binding to, the choroid plexus. SOCS3 mRNA induction in response to leptin was lower in the Lou/ C rat. This study reveals that the comparatively low plasma leptin, TSH and T4 levels, and high ghrelin levels together with high levels of AgRP and NPY gene expression seen in the Lou/C rat are indicative of a strong drive to eat and decreased energy expenditure, which are in direct opposition to the comparatively low body weight and adiposity of this rat strain. © 2006 Society for Endocrinology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-579
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006


  • diet-induced obesity
  • receptor messenger-RNA
  • secretagogue-receptor
  • growth-hormone
  • leptin sensitivity
  • ghrelin receptor
  • arcuate nucleus
  • siberian hamster
  • body-weight
  • brain


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