Hypothalamic NPY and prepro-NPY mRNA in Djungarian hamsters: effects of food deprivation and photoperiod

Julian Mercer, C B LAWRENCE, B BECK, A BURLET, T ATKINSON, Perry Barrett

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Two catabolic states leading to loss of body weight were compared in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus campbelli). Hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) and gene expression for NPY and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) were examined after withdrawal of food for 48 h or exposure to short photoperiod for 10 or 20 wk. Food deprivation was accompanied by increases in both NPY and prepro-NPY mRNA in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). Increases in gene expression were limited compared with published data from the rat and were inversely related to predeprivation body weight. Exposure to short photoperiod for 20 wk reduced body weight by 39%, but the activity of the NPY-ergic system was not affected; peptide concentration and gene expression were similar in short photoperiod hamsters and long photoperiod controls. The hypothalamic NPY-ergic system of the Djungarian hamster is sensitive to weight loss due to imposed manipulations of energy balance, but the catabolism observed in short photoperiod gives rise to a body weight that is appropriate to the season encoded by the photoperiod. CRF gene expression was not affected by food deprivation or short photoperiod.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1099-R1106
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995


  • neuropeptide Y
  • corticotropin-releasing factor
  • arcuate nucleus
  • paraventricular nucleus
  • neuropeptide-Y concentrations
  • Siberian hamsters
  • gene-expression
  • body-weight
  • rats
  • increases
  • glucocorticoid
  • galanin
  • nucleus
  • brain


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