Both CRF and norepinephrine (NE) inhibit food intake and stimulate ACTH secretion and sympathetic outflow. CRF also increases anxiety; NE increases attention and cortical arousal. Adrenalectomy (ADX) changes CRF and NE activity in brain, increases ACTH secretion and sympathetic outflow and reduces food intake and weight gain; all of these effects are corrected by administration of adrenal steroids. Unexpectedly, we recently found that ADX rats drinking sucrose, but not saccharin, also have normal caloric intake, metabolism, and ACTH. Here, we show that ADX (but not sham-ADX) rats prefer to consume significantly more sucrose than saccharin. Voluntary ingestion of sucrose restores CRF and dopamine-β-hydroxylase messenger RNA expression in brain, food intake, and caloric efficiency and fat deposition, circulating triglyceride, leptin, and insulin to normal. Our results suggest that the brains of ADX rats, cued by sucrose energy (but not by nonnutritive saccharin) maintain normal activity in systems that regulate neuroendocrine (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal), behavioral (feeding), and metabolic functions (fat deposition). We conclude that because sucrose ingestion, like glucocorticoid replacement, normalizes energetic and neuromodulatory effects of ADX, many of the actions of the steroids on the central nervous system under basal conditions may be indirect and mediated by signals that result from the metabolic effects of adrenal steroids.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism