Dorsomedial hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor mediation of exercise-induced anorexia

Maiko Kawaguchi, Karen A. Scott, Timothy H. Moran, Sheng Bi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Running wheel access and resulting voluntary exercise alter food intake and reduce body weight. The neural mechanisms underlying these effects are unclear. In this study, we first assessed the effects of 7 days of running wheel access on food intake, body weight, and hypothalamic gene expression. We demonstrate that running wheel access significantly decreases food intake and body weight and results in a significant elevation of CRF mRNA expression in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) but not the paraventricular nucleus. Seven-day running wheel access also results in elevated arcuate nucleus and DMH neuropeptide Y gene expression. To assess a potential role for elevated DMH CRF activity in the activity-induced changes in food intake and body weight, we compared changes in food intake, body weight, and hypothalamic gene expression in rats receiving intracerebroventricular (ICV) CRF antagonist α-helical CRF or vehicle with or without access to running wheels. During a 4-day period of running wheel access, we found that exercise-induced reductions of food intake and body weight were significantly attenuated by ICV injection of the CRF antagonist. The effect on food intake was specific to a blockade of activity-induced changes in meal size. Central CRF antagonist injection further increased DMH CRF mRNA expression in exercised rats. Together, these data suggest that DMH CRF play a critical role in the anorexia resulting from increased voluntary exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1800-R1805
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 57-6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Body weight
  • Leptin
  • Meal size
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Running wheel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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