Obesity results in the increased secretion of various hormones controlling food intake and body weight, such as leptin, and insulin; increased circulating levels of pancreatic amylin have also been described in obese humans and rodents. Because leptin-resistance is present in diet-induced obese (DIO) rats, and because hyperleptinemia seems necessary for the full development of leptin resistance, we tested whether amylin sensitivity is inversely correlated with adiposity, such that DIO reduces the anorectic action of acute amylin. We also determined if hyperamylinemia leads to a change in amylin sensitivity. In the first experiment, rats were chronically exposed to a high fat (HF; 60% fat) diet or fed standard chow for control. The anorectic response to amylin was tested on several occasions over a 14 week observation period. HF feeding led to the expected increase in body adiposity; the response to an acute amylin injection (5-50 μg/kg s.c.) was unaltered for 10 weeks of HF feeding. Even after 12 weeks on a HF diet, which clearly caused obesity, acute administration of amylin (5 μg/kg, s.c.) was still able to suppress food intake, although the suppression was not statistically significant. Further experiments using additional doses of amylin will be necessary to demonstrate possible amylin resistance after HF feeding or in DIO rats. In the second experiment, we tested more specifically whether hyperamylinemia that may result from HF feeding and subsequent obesity, reduces the sensitivity of the amylin signaling system. To avoid confounding factors, we chronically infused lean chow fed rats with amylin (5 or 10 μg/kg/day s.c.) to elevate their plasma amylin concentration to levels observed in obese rats (30-40 pM). In the absence of obesity, hyperamylinemia did not lead to a reduced sensitivity to acute amylin (5-20 μg/kg s.c.) injections; acute amylin reduced eating similarly in all groups of rats. Overall, we concluded that direct diet effects by short term exposure to HF appear to be of little importance for amylin sensitivity; further, long-term maintenance on a HF diet and the resulting obesity only slightly attenuated the anorectic response to acute amylin. Because we observed no marked changes in amylin sensitivity in lean, chow fed rats with induced hyperamylinemia, amylin receptor downregulation in chronic hyperamylinemia does not seem to occur.
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