Exercise training does not enhance hypothalamic responsiveness to leptin or ghrelin in male mice

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The detection of hormone and nutrient signals by the hypothalamus is blunted in obesity and contributes to dysregulated energy homeostasis. We investigated whether aerobic exercise training would improve long-term hypothalamic sensitivity to both leptin and ghrelin, independent of acute exercise-induced signalling. Male C57Bl/6J mice were fed either a chow or high-fat diet for 6 weeks, then remained sedentary on their respective diet, or completed 6 weeks of treadmill exercise training with a progressive increase in exercise volume and intensity. Food intake and hypothalamic signalling were assessed in mice injected with leptin or ghrelin at least 24 h after the last exercise bout. Exercise training reduced body mass, increased daily food intake and improved glucose tolerance. Intraperitoneal leptin administration reduced food intake in lean and obese mice, and this was not enhanced after exercise training. Leptin-mediated activation of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in the arcuate nucleus and ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus was not enhanced with exercise training. Ghrelin increased food intake and c-Fos positive neurones in the hypothalamus in lean and obese mice, and these physiological and molecular responses were not enhanced with exercise training. This suggests that the previously reported exercise effects on sensitising hypothalamic signalling and food intake responses may be limited to the period immediately after an exercise bout, and are not a result of stable structural or molecular changes that occur with exercise training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68 - 79
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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