Leptin (ob) mRNA and hypothalamic NPY in food-deprived/refed Syrian hamsters

Julian Mercer, B Beck, A Burlet, Kim-Marie Moar, Nigel Hoggard, T Atkinson, Perry Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Food deprivation in the laboratory rat decreases plasma leptin and insulin, elevates glucocorticoid concentration, and increases the activity df the neuropeptide Y (NPY) system and feeding drive. In contrast, Syrian hamsters fail to modify feeding behaviour in response to various food scarcity paradigms. Two components of the neuroendocrine-hormonal response to food deprivation, adipose tissue-derived leptin and hypothalamic NPY, are investigated in the Syrian hamster, ob (leptin) mRNA was less abundant in subcutaneous than abdominal adipose tissue, but not to the extent observed in other rodents. Food deprivation for 48 h reduced ob mRNA in inguinal and retroperitoneal white adipose tissue; gene expression was partially restored by refeeding. In contrast, in epididymal fat there was no effect on ob mRNA. NPY concentrations in hypothalamic nuclei were also unaffected by feeding state. The predicted amino acid sequence of leptin from the Syrian hamster was over 90% homologous with Djungarian hamster and mouse sequences, and the leptin receptor gene (OB-R), and specifically the long intracellular splice variant, OB-Rb, was expressed in the same forebrain and hypothalamic regions that have been described in laboratory mice and rats, including hypothalamic arcuate, dorsomedial, and ventromedial nuclei. The failure of food deprivation to affect NPY and feeding behaviour in Syrian hamsters is unlikely to be due to defects in the leptin system, although there may be region-specific differences in the relation of leptin signaling in laboratory rats and Syrian hamsters. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1998


  • Syrian hamster
  • neuropeptide Y
  • leptin
  • ob mRNA
  • leptin receptor mRNA
  • food deprivation
  • neuropeptide-Y
  • gene-expression
  • adipose-tissue
  • golden-hamster
  • rats
  • cloning
  • mice
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Leptin
  • receptor mRNA
  • Food deprivation


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