Dietary amino acid imbalance and neurochemical changes in three hypothalamic areas

D. W. Gietzen, P. M.B. Leung, Quinton Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The impact of feeding imbalanced amino acid diets on monoamine, metabolite and amino acid concentrations was measured in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), lateral hypothalamus (LH) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN). After rats were fed either an isoleucine imbalanced diet, a threonine imbalanced diet, or the appropriate basal or corrected control diets, regional differences were found in neurochemical concentrations. Contrary to our expectations, the limiting amino acid was unchanged in the imbalanced groups, tending to be decreased only in the isoleucine imbalanced-diet group in the PVN. This is the first report that the limiting amino acid was not reduced uniformly in the brain after imbalanced amino acid feeding. In the VMH, norepinephrine (NE) was increased by 22% and 63% in the threonine and isoleucine imbalanced-diet groups, respectively. Since the concentration of NE was affected even before the decrease in feeding, both in the VMH, and, as previously reported, in the prepyriform cortex, the NE system may be involved in very early responses to imbalanced amino acid diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acids
  • Feeding
  • Lateral hypothalamus
  • Paraventricular nucleus
  • Rat
  • Ventromedial hypothalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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