Impact of estradiol on parametrial adipose tissue function: evidence for establishment of a new set point of leptin sensitivity in control of energy metabolism in female rat

Endocrine. 2003 Apr;20(3):239-45. doi: 10.1385/ENDO:20:3:239.


Estradiol has been implicated in the regulation of food intake; however, its effect seems to be exerted in a bimodal fashion. We examined whether a single im injection of estradiol valerate (E2V), lastingly effective, could induce changes in parametrial fat function that further induce a new set point of leptin sensitivity in the female rat. E2V induced severe anorexia and loss of body weight between d 4 and 12 posttreatment. E2V rats recovered normal food intake and departing body weights on wk 2 and 3 posttreatment, respectively; however, they did not reach body weights of control rats. On d 61 posttreatment, we found that unfasting E2V, vs control, rats displayed increased E2 and leptin circulating levels; reduced plasma tumor necrosis factor-alpha(TNF-alpha) concentrations; similar circulating levels of glucose, insulin, and triglyceride; and lower parametrial fat mass containing a higher number of adipocytes that, although normal in size, in vitro released more leptin. Metabolic responses to fasting indicated that unlike control animals, E2V rats did not decrease triglyceride circulating levels, and that both groups decreased plasma glucose, leptin, and insulin, but not TNF-alpha, levels. High glucose load experiments indicated that E2V animals displayed a better insulin sensitivity than control rats; did not significantly increase circulating leptin concentrations as control rats did; and, unlike control, significantly decreased plasma triglyceride levels. Our data strongly support a potent acute anorectic effect of E2 and that, after several weeks, E2 modified parametrial fat function and insulin sensitivity, protecting the organism against future unfavorable metabolic conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / cytology
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Endometrium / drug effects
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology*
  • Fasting / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Triglycerides
  • Estradiol
  • Glucose