Short-day weight loss and effect of food deprivation on hypothalamic NPY and CRF mRNA in Djungarian hamsters

Julian Mercer, C B Lawrence, Kim-Marie Moar, T Atkinson, Perry Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of food deprivation on hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) gene expression in the Djungarian hamster was quantified by in situ hybridization. Hamsters housed in short days (SD) for 18 wk decreased body weight by 40% and exhibited 200% increases in both NPY and CRF mRNA when deprived of food for 24 h. Prior gonadectomy in long days (LD) affected neither basal gene expression nor the induction of gene expression by food deprivation. Gene expression in juvenile LD hamsters similar in body weight to SD animals was relatively insensitive to food deprivation of either 24- or 48-h duration or to subsequent refeeding. In juvenile hamsters, food deprivation for 24 but not 48 h decreased ob (obese) gene expression in inguinal but not epididymal white adipose tissue; ob mRNA levels were restored by refeeding. All food-deprived hamsters had reduced plasma insulin concentrations, but plasma cortisol was only elevated in SD food-deprived animals. NPY gene expression was also increased after daily dexamethasone injections in adult LD hamsters. These results suggest that the neuroendocrine consequences of food deprivation in SD Djungarian hamsters are determined by some factor other than absolute body mass, such as the size of adipose tissue reserves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R768-R776
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • neuropeptide Y
  • corticotropin-releasing factor
  • photoperiod
  • glucocorticoids
  • Phodopus
  • OB gene-expression
  • neuropeptide-Y
  • Siberian hamsters
  • adipose-tissue
  • messenger-RNAS
  • zucker rats
  • body-weight
  • obese gene
  • increases


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