Short-term high-fat diet increases the presence of astrocytes in the hypothalamus of C57BL6 mice without altering leptin sensitivity

E. Balland, M. A. Cowley

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Diet-induced obesity is associated with hypothalamic inflammation and this phenomenon has been proposed to explain leptin resistance. In the present study, we used a short-term high-fat diet (HFD) paradigm for 10 days and analysed the cellular and physiological responses to leptin administration in C57BL6 mice. In parallel, we performed glial fibrillary acidic protein immunostaining to measure the presence of astrocytes in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) after 10 days and 20 weeks of HFD. Interestingly, the results obtained demonstrate that the presence of star-like astrocytes is significantly increased after 10 days of HFD, although this is not associated with the absence of cellular and physiological response to leptin administration in mice. Taken together, the results of the present study suggest that star-like astrocytes rapidly increase in numbers in the ARH in response to HFD, although this phenomenon cannot explain the development of leptin resistance by itself.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12504
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • arcuate nucleus
  • astrocytes
  • high-fat diet
  • hypothalamus
  • leptin resistance
  • leptin sensitivity

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