Objective: This study was carried out to determine the effects of the biliopancreatic diversion (BPD), a bariatric surgery applied to the treatment of morbidly obese humans, on energy balance in rats.
Methods: BPD was performed on a group of male Wistar rats. Body weight and food intake were measured daily throughout the study. Feces were also collected to assess energy losses and the determination of digestible energy. Energy expenditure and body composition were also determined for the 50-day length of the protocol. On the day of killing, the brain, the entire intestinal tract and white and brown adipose tissues were collected and weighed. Expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) in the ARC nucleus were assessed by in situ hybridization.
Results: Marked changes in the regulation of energy balance were observed in the BPD-operated rats. A decrease in digestible energy and food intake coupled with an increase in the fecal energy density and protein fecal energy led to an important weight loss in the BPD-operated rats. This weight loss was observed in the loss of fat mass (specifically the white epididymal, inguinal, retroperitoneal and brown adipose tissues). The rats modified their food intake pattern to be able to potentially eat more during the entire day. An increase in the surfaces of all intestinal structures (muscular and mucosal layers) was observed in the BPD-operated rats. The NPY and AgRP expression in the brain were both shown to be greater in the BPD-operated rats than in the control animals. At the beginning of the study, the surgery led to an energy expenditure decrease, which, however, did not persist throughout the study despite the fact that BPD-operated rats exhibited persistent lower fat free masses.
Conclusion: BPD led to a noticeable reduction in weight and fat gains in rats, which was in large part owing to a decrease in digestible energy intake led to by the gastrectomy, the intestinal malabsorption inherent to the surgery and to potentially a thermogenesis stimulation that occurred in the second end of the study. The reduction in energy gain occurs despite adaptations to thwart the intestinal malabsorption and the hunger signals from the central nervous system.