Long term exendin-4 treatment reduces food intake and body weight and alters expression of brain homeostatic and reward markers

Yan Yang, Alexander A. Moghadam, Zachary A. Cordner, Nu Chu Liang, Timothy H. Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Repeated administration of the long-acting glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist exendin-4 (EX-4) has been shown to reduce food intake and body weight and do so without a rebound increase in food intake after treatment termination. The current study examines the neural mechanisms underlying these actions. After 6 weeks of maintenance on a standard chow or a high-fat (HF) diet, male Sprague Dawley rats were treated with EX-4 (3.2 μg/kg, ip, twice a day) or vehicle for 9 consecutive days. Food intake and body weight (BW) were monitored daily. Expression of the genes for the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) peptides proopiomelanocortin (POMC), neuropeptide Y (NPY), and agouti gene-related protein was determined. Expression of the dopamine precursor tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) gene in the ventral tegmental area and genes for dopamine receptors 1 (D1R) and dopamine receptor 2 in the nucleus accumbens were also determined. Pair-fed groups were included to control for the effects of reduced food intake and BW. Treatment with EX-4 significantly decreased food intake and BW over the 9-day period in both the standard chow and HF groups. HF feeding decreased POMC without changing NPY/agouti gene-related protein gene expression in the ARC. Treatment with EX-4 increased POMC and decreased NPY expression independent of the reduction of food intake and BW. Mesolimbic TH and D1R gene expression were decreased significantly in chronic HF diet-fed rats, and these changes were reversed in both EX-4 and pair-fed conditions. These results suggest a role for increased POMC and decreased NPY expression in the ARC in the effects of EX-4 on food intake and BW. Our findings also suggest that EX-4 induced the recovery of mesolimbic TH and D1R expression in HF diet-fed rats may be secondary to HF intake reduction and/or weight loss. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3473-3483
Number of pages11
JournalEndocrinology
Volume155
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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