PublicationsNeuropeptide Y and leptin sensitivity is dependent on diet composition
Rats on different free-choice (fc) diets for 1 week of either chow, saturated fat and liquid sugar (fcHFHS), chow and saturated fat (fcHF), or chow and liquid sugar (fcHS) have differential levels of neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA in the arcuate nucleus. Because these differences were not explained by plasma leptin levels but did predict subsequent feeding behaviour, in the present study, we first examined whether leptin sensitivity could explain these differences. Second, we focused on the role of NPY on feeding behaviour, and measured NPY mRNA levels and sensitivity to NPY after 4 weeks on the different choice diets. To determine leptin sensitivity, we measured food intake after i.p. leptin or vehicle injections in male Wistar rats subjected to the fcHFHS, fcHS, fcHF or Chow diets for 7 days. Next, we measured levels of arcuate nucleus NPY mRNA with in situ hybridisation in rats subjected to the choice diets for 4 weeks. Finally, we studied NPY sensitivity in rats subjected to the fcHFHS, fcHS, fcHF or Chow diet for 4 weeks by measuring food intake after administration of NPY or vehicle in the lateral ventricle. Leptin decreased caloric intake in rats on Chow, fcHS and fcHF but not in rats on the fcHFHS diet. After 4 weeks, rats on the fcHFHS diet remained hyperphagic, whereas fcHS and fcHF rats decreased caloric intake to levels similar to rats on Chow. By contrast to 1 week, after 4 weeks, levels of NPY mRNA were not different between the diet groups. Lateral ventricle administration of NPY resulted in higher caloric intake in fcHFHS rats compared to rats on the other choice diets or rats on Chow. Our data show that consuming a combination of saturated fat and liquid sugar results in leptin resistance and increased NPY sensitivity that is associated with persistent hyperphagia.