Introduction: Gastric electrical stimulation (GES) has been used for the treatment of obesity with unclear central mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of GES on the neuronal activity in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). Methods: Extracellular potentials of single neurons in VMH were recorded in 52 anesthetized rats. Neurons were classified as gastric distension-excitatory (GD-E) neurons or GD-inhibitory (GD-I) neurons. GES with four sets of parameters was applied for comparison. Results: Eighty two neurons out of 96 (85.41%) in VMH responded to gastric distension (GD). 37.8% were GD-E neurons and 51(62.2%) were GD-I neurons. 55.0%, 17.6%, 77.8%, 14.3% of GD-E neurons were excited by four sets of parameters: GES1 (standard), GES2 (reduced pulse numbers), GES3 (increased pulse width) and GES4 (reduced frequency), respectively. More GD-E neurons were excited by GES3 (P < 0.05 versus GES2 or GES4) and by GES1 (P < 0.02 versus GES2 or GES4). Among the GD-I neurons, 63.6, 37.9, 73.3, and 51.9% neurons were excited by GES1-4, respectively. Conclusion: GES with parameters used for treating obesity excites GD-responsive neurons in VMH. The excitatory effect of GES is related to the strength of stimulation, including pulse frequency and width as well as pulse train on-time.
- Gastric distension responsive neurons
- Gastric electrical stimulation
- Ventromedial hypothalamus
ASJC Scopus subject areas