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      Sex-Related Alterations in Hypothalamic Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone mRNA- but Not Somatostatin mRNA-Expressing Cells in Genetically Obese Zucker Rats

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          Abstract

          The possibility that the growth hormone (GH) suppression associated with obesity is due to alterations in hypothalamic GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) and/or somatostatin (SRIH) has been considered, but the data are not consistent. In the present study, we sought to clarify the roles of GHRH and SRIH in obesity by using in situ hybridization to localize and quantify the level of expression of GHRH mRNA- and SRIH mRNA-containing neurons in the hypothalamus of male and female lean and obese Zucker rats (12 weeks of age; n = 6 per group). In lean animals, the number of GHRH mRNA-expressing cells in the arcuate nucleus and SRIH mRNA-containing neurons in the periventricular nucleus was 2- to 3-fold higher in males compared to females. The obese phenotype in the male was associated with a striking reduction in arcuate GHRH mRNA expression, both in terms of number of cells (–71%; p < 0.01) and grains/cell (–44%; p < 0.05). In contrast, in obese females, there was a marked augmentation (+175%; p < 0.05) in the number of GHRH mRNA-containing cells in the arcuate nucleus compared to their lean litter-mates. The small population of GHRH mRNA-containing neurons of the ventromedial nucleus was not modified in male obese rats, while it was considerably increased (p < 0.05) in obese females. Neither the number or labeling density of SRIH mRNA-containing neurons in the periventricular and arcuate nuclei of obese rats of either sex was changed when compared to their sex-matched lean counterparts. These results demonstrate that: (1) the obese male Zucker rat exhibits a marked diminution in hypothalamic GHRH mRNA expression, while a reverse pattern is evident in the obese female; (2) hypothalamic SRIH mRNA-containing neurons are not significantly altered in obese rats of both sexes. Our findings suggest that the impaired GH secretion of the obese Zucker rat is due, at least in part, to alterations in hypothalamic GHRH gene expression and that SRIH does not play a major role.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEN
          Neuroendocrinology
          10.1159/issn.0028-3835
          Neuroendocrinology
          S. Karger AG
          0028-3835
          1423-0194
          1996
          1996
          09 April 2008
          : 64
          : 3
          : 186-193
          Affiliations
          aDepartments of Pediatrics, Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, and bDepartment of Pediatrics, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada; cINSERM U.159, Paris, France
          Article
          127117 Neuroendocrinology 1996;64:186–193
          10.1159/000127117
          8875436
          © 1996 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 8
          Categories
          Growth Hormone Regulation

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