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      Effects of high fat diet on the Basal activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in mice: a systematic review.

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          Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis activity is suggested to be involved in the pathophysiology of the metabolic syndrome. In diet-induced obesity mouse models, features of the metabolic syndrome are induced by feeding high fat diet. However, the models reveal conflicting results with respect to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis activation. The aim of this review was to assess the effects of high fat feeding on the activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis in mice. PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, the Cochrane database, and Science Direct were electronically searched and reviewed by 2 individual researchers. We included only original mouse studies reporting parameters of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis after high fat feeding, and at least 1 basal corticosterone level with a proper control group. Studies with adrenalectomized mice, transgenic animals only, high fat diet for less than 2 weeks, or other interventions besides high fat diet, were excluded. 20 studies were included. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis evaluation was the primary research question in only 5 studies. Plasma corticosterone levels were unchanged in 40%, elevated in 30%, and decreased in 20% of the studies. The effects in the peripheral tissues and the central nervous system were also inconsistent. However, major differences were found between mouse strains, experimental conditions, and the content and duration of the diets. This systematic review demonstrates that the effects of high fat feeding on the basal activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis in mice are limited and inconclusive. Differences in experimental conditions hamper comparisons and accentuate the need for standardized evaluations to discern the effects of diet-induced obesity on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal-axis.

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          Author and article information

          Horm. Metab. Res.
          Hormone and metabolic research = Hormon- und Stoffwechselforschung = Hormones et metabolisme
          Georg Thieme Verlag KG
          Dec 2011
          : 43
          : 13
          [1 ] Leiden University MedicalCenterDepartment of Endocrinologyand Metabolic Diseases, The Netherlands. h.e.auvinen@lumc.nl


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