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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 35, No. 4, 2014, pp. 262-271
Bioline Code: zr14031
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 35, No. 4, 2014, pp. 262-271

 en The role of leptin in striped hamsters subjected to food restriction and refeeding
ZHAO, Zhi-Jun; LIU, Yong-An; XING, Jing-Ya; ZHANG, Mao-Lun; NI, Xiao-Ying & CAO, Jing


Food restriction (FR) and refeeding (Re) have been suggested to impair body mass regulation and thereby making it easier to regain the lost weight and develop over-weight when FR ends. However, it is unclear if this is the case in small mammals showing seasonal forging behaviors. In the present study, energy budget, body fat and serum leptin level were measured in striped hamsters that were exposed to FR-Re. The effects of leptin on food intake, body fat and genes expressions of several hypothalamus neuropeptides were determined. Body mass, fat content and serum leptin level decreased during FR and then increased during Re. Leptin supplement significantly attenuated the increase in food intake during Re, decreased genes expressions of neuropepetide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) of hypothalamus and leptin of white adipose tissue (WAT). Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) gene expression of WAT increased in leptin-treated hamsters that were fed ad libitum, but decreased in FR-Re hamsters. This indicates that the adaptive regulation of WAT HSL gene expression may be involved in the mobilization of fat storage during Re, which partly contributes to the resistance to FR-Re-induced overweight. Leptin may be involved in the down regulations of hypothalamus orexigenic peptides gene expression and consequently plays a crucial role in controlling food intake when FR ends.

Body mass; Food restriction; Hypothalamus neuropeptides; Leptin; Striped hamster

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