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Early weaning is associated with higher neuropeptide Y (NPY) and lower cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) expressions in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in adulthood

  • Viviane Younes-Rapozo (a1) (a2), Egberto Gaspar de Moura (a1), Natália da Silva Lima (a1), Penha Cristina Barradas (a3), Alex C. Manhães (a2), Elaine de Oliveira (a1) and Patricia Cristina Lisboa (a1)...

Abstract

The interruption of lactation for a short period, without the use of pharmacological substances or maternal separation, causes offspring malnutrition and hypoleptinaemia and programmes for metabolic disorders such as higher body weight and adiposity, hyperphagia, hyperleptinaemia and central leptin resistance in adulthood. Here, in order to clarify the mechanisms underlying the phenotype observed in adult early-weaned (EW) rats, we studied the expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AgRP), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) in different hypothalamic nuclei by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. In the EW group, the teats of lactating rats were blocked with a bandage to interrupt lactation during the last 3 d, while control pups had free access to milk throughout the entire lactation period. At age 180 d, EW offspring showed higher NPY staining in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), as well as NPY protein content (+68 %) in total hypothalamus than control ones. AgRP showed no changes in staining or Western blot. POMC content was not affected; however, its distribution pattern was altered. CART-positive cells of EW offspring had lower immunoreactivity associated with reduced cell number in the PVN and lower protein content ( − 38 %) in total hypothalamus. The present data indicate that precocious weaning can imprint the neuronal circuitry, especially in the PVN, and cause a long-term effect on the expression of specific orexigenic and anorexigenic neuropeptides, such as NPY and CART, that can be caused by leptin resistance and are coherent with the hyperphagia observed in these animals.

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      Early weaning is associated with higher neuropeptide Y (NPY) and lower cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) expressions in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in adulthood
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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Dr Egberto Gaspar de Moura, fax +55 21 2868 8029, email egberto@pq.cnpq.br

References

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Keywords

Early weaning is associated with higher neuropeptide Y (NPY) and lower cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) expressions in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in adulthood

  • Viviane Younes-Rapozo (a1) (a2), Egberto Gaspar de Moura (a1), Natália da Silva Lima (a1), Penha Cristina Barradas (a3), Alex C. Manhães (a2), Elaine de Oliveira (a1) and Patricia Cristina Lisboa (a1)...

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