Towards an understanding of physiological body mass regulation

Seasonal Animal Models

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This review is based around a number of interlinked hypotheses that can be summarised as follows: (i) mammalian body mass is regulated, (ii) the mechanisms that effect this regulation are common to all mammalian species, including humans, (iii) the neurochemical substrates involved in long term body mass regulation and in determining the level of body mass that will be defended may not be the same as those involved in short term energy homeostasis, or body mass defence, or may be differentially engaged, and (iv) "appropriate" body mass is encoded somewhere within the mammalian brain and acts as a comparator to influence both nutritional and reproductive physiology. These issues are of direct relevance to the epidemic of obesity in the Westernised human population and the poor success rate of conventional weight loss strategies. It is our contention that seasonal rodent models, and the Siberian hamster in particular, represent extremely valuable tools for the study of the mechanistic basis of body mass regulation. The Siberian hamster model is often perceived as an unusual mammalian variant that has evolved an almost counter-intuitive strategy for surviving periods of anticipated seasonal food shortage. However, there is compelling evidence that these animals are able to adjust their body mass continually and progressively according to their photoperiodic history, i.e. a seasonally-appropriate body mass. These adjustments to appropriate body mass are memorised even after the animals have been driven away from their normal body mass trajectory by imposed food restriction. Thus, photoperiod, acting through the pineal hormone, melatonin, is able to reset the desired body mass for a given time in the seasonal cycle. Importantly, daylength provides a tool to manipulate the body mass control system in an entirely physiological and stress-free manner. While resetting of body mass by photoperiod represents a level of control apparently confined to seasonal mammals, it has the potential to reveal mechanisms of generic importance in the regulation of energy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-320
Number of pages14
JournalNutritional Neuroscience
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2000

Keywords

  • Phodopus
  • melatonin
  • photoperiod
  • body weight
  • set point
  • hypothalamic neuropeptides
  • leptin
  • Agouti-related protein
  • male Siberian hamster
  • normal female mice
  • gene-expression
  • food-intake
  • melatonin receptors
  • Djungarian hamster
  • energy homeostasis
  • ground-squirrels
  • leptin receptor
  • Melatonin
  • Photoperiod
  • Body weight Set point
  • Hypothalamic neuropeptides
  • Leptin

Cite this

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title = "Towards an understanding of physiological body mass regulation: Seasonal Animal Models",
abstract = "This review is based around a number of interlinked hypotheses that can be summarised as follows: (i) mammalian body mass is regulated, (ii) the mechanisms that effect this regulation are common to all mammalian species, including humans, (iii) the neurochemical substrates involved in long term body mass regulation and in determining the level of body mass that will be defended may not be the same as those involved in short term energy homeostasis, or body mass defence, or may be differentially engaged, and (iv) {"}appropriate{"} body mass is encoded somewhere within the mammalian brain and acts as a comparator to influence both nutritional and reproductive physiology. These issues are of direct relevance to the epidemic of obesity in the Westernised human population and the poor success rate of conventional weight loss strategies. It is our contention that seasonal rodent models, and the Siberian hamster in particular, represent extremely valuable tools for the study of the mechanistic basis of body mass regulation. The Siberian hamster model is often perceived as an unusual mammalian variant that has evolved an almost counter-intuitive strategy for surviving periods of anticipated seasonal food shortage. However, there is compelling evidence that these animals are able to adjust their body mass continually and progressively according to their photoperiodic history, i.e. a seasonally-appropriate body mass. These adjustments to appropriate body mass are memorised even after the animals have been driven away from their normal body mass trajectory by imposed food restriction. Thus, photoperiod, acting through the pineal hormone, melatonin, is able to reset the desired body mass for a given time in the seasonal cycle. Importantly, daylength provides a tool to manipulate the body mass control system in an entirely physiological and stress-free manner. While resetting of body mass by photoperiod represents a level of control apparently confined to seasonal mammals, it has the potential to reveal mechanisms of generic importance in the regulation of energy homeostasis.",
keywords = "Phodopus, melatonin, photoperiod, body weight, set point, hypothalamic neuropeptides, leptin, Agouti-related protein, male Siberian hamster, normal female mice, gene-expression, food-intake, melatonin receptors, Djungarian hamster, energy homeostasis, ground-squirrels, leptin receptor, Melatonin, Photoperiod, Body weight Set point, Hypothalamic neuropeptides, Leptin",
author = "Julian Mercer and Adam, {Clare Lesley} and Morgan, {Peter John}",
year = "2000",
month = "10",
doi = "10.3109/10284150009162915",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
pages = "307--320",
journal = "Nutritional Neuroscience",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Towards an understanding of physiological body mass regulation

T2 - Seasonal Animal Models

AU - Mercer, Julian

AU - Adam, Clare Lesley

AU - Morgan, Peter John

PY - 2000/10

Y1 - 2000/10

N2 - This review is based around a number of interlinked hypotheses that can be summarised as follows: (i) mammalian body mass is regulated, (ii) the mechanisms that effect this regulation are common to all mammalian species, including humans, (iii) the neurochemical substrates involved in long term body mass regulation and in determining the level of body mass that will be defended may not be the same as those involved in short term energy homeostasis, or body mass defence, or may be differentially engaged, and (iv) "appropriate" body mass is encoded somewhere within the mammalian brain and acts as a comparator to influence both nutritional and reproductive physiology. These issues are of direct relevance to the epidemic of obesity in the Westernised human population and the poor success rate of conventional weight loss strategies. It is our contention that seasonal rodent models, and the Siberian hamster in particular, represent extremely valuable tools for the study of the mechanistic basis of body mass regulation. The Siberian hamster model is often perceived as an unusual mammalian variant that has evolved an almost counter-intuitive strategy for surviving periods of anticipated seasonal food shortage. However, there is compelling evidence that these animals are able to adjust their body mass continually and progressively according to their photoperiodic history, i.e. a seasonally-appropriate body mass. These adjustments to appropriate body mass are memorised even after the animals have been driven away from their normal body mass trajectory by imposed food restriction. Thus, photoperiod, acting through the pineal hormone, melatonin, is able to reset the desired body mass for a given time in the seasonal cycle. Importantly, daylength provides a tool to manipulate the body mass control system in an entirely physiological and stress-free manner. While resetting of body mass by photoperiod represents a level of control apparently confined to seasonal mammals, it has the potential to reveal mechanisms of generic importance in the regulation of energy homeostasis.

AB - This review is based around a number of interlinked hypotheses that can be summarised as follows: (i) mammalian body mass is regulated, (ii) the mechanisms that effect this regulation are common to all mammalian species, including humans, (iii) the neurochemical substrates involved in long term body mass regulation and in determining the level of body mass that will be defended may not be the same as those involved in short term energy homeostasis, or body mass defence, or may be differentially engaged, and (iv) "appropriate" body mass is encoded somewhere within the mammalian brain and acts as a comparator to influence both nutritional and reproductive physiology. These issues are of direct relevance to the epidemic of obesity in the Westernised human population and the poor success rate of conventional weight loss strategies. It is our contention that seasonal rodent models, and the Siberian hamster in particular, represent extremely valuable tools for the study of the mechanistic basis of body mass regulation. The Siberian hamster model is often perceived as an unusual mammalian variant that has evolved an almost counter-intuitive strategy for surviving periods of anticipated seasonal food shortage. However, there is compelling evidence that these animals are able to adjust their body mass continually and progressively according to their photoperiodic history, i.e. a seasonally-appropriate body mass. These adjustments to appropriate body mass are memorised even after the animals have been driven away from their normal body mass trajectory by imposed food restriction. Thus, photoperiod, acting through the pineal hormone, melatonin, is able to reset the desired body mass for a given time in the seasonal cycle. Importantly, daylength provides a tool to manipulate the body mass control system in an entirely physiological and stress-free manner. While resetting of body mass by photoperiod represents a level of control apparently confined to seasonal mammals, it has the potential to reveal mechanisms of generic importance in the regulation of energy homeostasis.

KW - Phodopus

KW - melatonin

KW - photoperiod

KW - body weight

KW - set point

KW - hypothalamic neuropeptides

KW - leptin

KW - Agouti-related protein

KW - male Siberian hamster

KW - normal female mice

KW - gene-expression

KW - food-intake

KW - melatonin receptors

KW - Djungarian hamster

KW - energy homeostasis

KW - ground-squirrels

KW - leptin receptor

KW - Melatonin

KW - Photoperiod

KW - Body weight Set point

KW - Hypothalamic neuropeptides

KW - Leptin

U2 - 10.3109/10284150009162915

DO - 10.3109/10284150009162915

M3 - Literature review

VL - 3

SP - 307

EP - 320

JO - Nutritional Neuroscience

JF - Nutritional Neuroscience

SN - 1028-415X

IS - 5

ER -