The effect of TNFα on food intake and central insulin sensitivity in rats

Program in Neuroscience, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45237, United States.
Physiology & Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.98). 04/2011; 103(1):17-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.11.037
Source: PubMed


Circulating and tissue levels of the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) are elevated in obesity. TNFα interferes with insulin signaling in many tissues and also plays a causal role in the anorexia that accompanies severe challenges to the immune system. The interactions between TNFα and insulin in the control of eating are less well known. The present study evaluated the role of TNFα in the central nervous system control of food intake by insulin in adult male Long Evans rats. We first determined the ability of several doses of TNFα injected into the 3rd cerebral ventricle (i3vt) to reduce food intake in male rats. Subsequently, we assessed the ability of a subthreshold dose of TNFα to modulate the effect of i3vt insulin on food intake in male rats fed a low-fat chow or a high-fat (HF) diet. TNFα administered i3vt dose-dependently reduced food intake in rats fed a standard low-fat chow diet. Moreover, a low, sub-threshold dose of TNFα diminished the reduction in food intake by insulin in rats maintained on a chow diet, but enhanced insulin action in rats maintained on a HF diet. These data suggest that the interaction of TNFα with central insulin varies with nutritional and/or dietary conditions.

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