Body composition and adiposity in LH-lesioned and pair-fed obese Zucker rats

K. M. Milam, R. E. Keesey, J. S. Stern

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6 Scopus citations


It has been reported previously that lateral hypothalamic (LH) lesions alter body composition including reducing adipocyte cellularity in lean and obese Zucker rats. The present experiment was designed to determine whether these alterations in body composition and adipose cell number are secondary to the reduced energy consumption of LH-lesioned rats or to a direct effect of the hypothalamic lesion. Groups of lean and obese Zucker rats, sustaining lesions of the lateral hypothalamus at 10 wk of age, maintained body weight at 72% that of nonlesioned controls until killed at 32 wk. Pair-feeding nonlesioned rats to the intakes of lean and obese LH-lesioned rats produced a reduction in adipocyte number similar to that caused by lesions. However, neither the lean nor obese LH-lesioned rats displayed an increase in cell number when fed a palatable diet that markedly increased carcass lipids. This finding suggests that adipocyte number may be constrained in LH-lesioned rats. These and further observations that 1) lean control rats maintained a higher body weight than the LH-lesioned rats to which they were pair fed and 2) in obese rats, food restriction further reduced protein deposition and elevated plasma insulin relative to comparably fed LH-lesioned obese rats suggest that the LH syndrome is not mimicked by simple food restriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology


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