The impact of ageing, fasting and high-fat diet on central and peripheral glucose tolerance and glucose-sensing neural networks in the arcuate nucleus

M. van den Top, F.-Y. Zhao, R. Viriyapong, N. J. Michael, A. C. Munder, J. T. Pryor, L. P. Renaud, D. Spanswick

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Abstract

Obesity and ageing are risk factors for diabetes. In the present study, we investigated the effects of ageing, obesity and fasting on central and peripheral glucose tolerance and on glucose-sensing neuronal function in the arcuate nucleus of rats, with a view to providing insight into the central mechanisms regulating glucose homeostasis and how they change or are subject to dysfunction with ageing and obesity. We show that, following a glucose load, central glucose tolerance at the level of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma is significantly reduced in rats maintained on a high-fat diet (HFD). With ageing, up to 2 years, central glucose tolerance was impaired in an age-dependent manner, whereas peripheral glucose tolerance remained unaffected. Ageing-induced peripheral glucose intolerance was improved by a 24-hour fast, whereas central glucose tolerance was not corrected. Pre-wean, immature animals have elevated basal plasma glucose levels and a delayed increase in central glucose levels following peripheral glucose injection compared to mature animals. Electrophysiological recording techniques revealed an energy-status-dependent role for glucose-excited, inhibited and adapting neurones, along with glucose-induced changes in synaptic transmission. We conclude that ageing affects central glucose tolerance, whereas HFD profoundly affects central and peripheral glucose tolerance and, in addition, glucose-sensing neurones adapt function in an energy-status-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12528
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Volume29
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • arcuate nucleus
  • electrophysiology
  • glucose
  • glucose tolerance
  • hypothalamus
  • POMC

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