Somatic and metabolic responses of mature female rats with dietary obesity to dorsomedial hypothalamic lesions: effects of diet palatability. Academic Article uri icon


  • Caloric intake, body weight, obesity status (Lee Index) and incorporation of U-14 C-glucose into liver and retroperitoneal fat pad glycogen and lipid were studied in mature female rats that had received bilateral lesions or sham-operations in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nuclei (DMN) after dietary obesity was well established. Their diet consisted of a high-fat-sucrose chow mix, chocolate chip cookies and a drinking fluid of 32% sucrose in tap water. Comparable groups of DMN lesioned rats (DMNL rats) and sham-operated controls were maintained on lab chow pellets and tap water. Prior to the hypothalamic operation, the animals on the high-caloric regimen consumed significantly more calories than the rats on lab chow and also attained commensurately higher body weights and obesity indices. The bulk of the calories consumed during this time was derived from the cookies. Following DMNL, the animals maintained on lab chow became hypophagic and had lower body weights than the sham-operated rats, as has been previously reported. In rats on the high-caloric regimen, DMNL resulted in hyperphagia in comparison to all other groups. The greatest percentage of the calories during this time was derived from the high-fat-sucrose chow mix and sugar water. Correspondingly, DMNL rats on the high-caloric regimen had higher body weights and obesity indices than all other groups. At sacrifice, both a diet and lesion effect were noted in an elevated incorporation of U 14-C glucose in both fat pad and liver lipid and glycogen. The data are interpreted to mean that (1) when a highly palatable, high-caloric diet is available, DMNL do not exert their usual hypophagic and weight-lowering effects; (2) DMNL and control rats show excessive caloric intake when both groups are fed a highly palatable, high-caloric diet in comparison to their chow-fed counterparts. However, DMNL rats fed high-caloric diet also consume significantly more than controls fed this diet; (3) This excessive caloric intake of the DMNL rats possibly predisposes these animals to exaggerated lipogenesis in liver and adipose tissue; (4) the sham-operated controls on the high-caloric regimen also show greater lipogenesis but at a level intermediate between the chow-fed controls and the DMNL rats on the high-caloric diet. 1980, All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Physiol Behav

author list (cited authors)

  • Bernardis, L. L., Bellinger, L. L., Goldman, J. K., & Mackenzie, R.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Bernardis, LL||Bellinger, LL||Goldman, JK||Mackenzie, R

publication date

  • January 1980