This investigation examines whether a low intermittent dose of rapamycin will avoid the hyperlipidemia and diabetes-like syndrome associated with rapamycin while still decreasing body weight and adiposity in aged obese rats. Furthermore, we examined if the rapamycin-mediated decrease in serum leptin was a reflection of decreased adiposity, diminished leptin synthesis, or both. To these ends, rapamycin (1mg/kg) was administered three times a week to 3 and 24-month old rats. Body weight, food intake, body composition, mTORC1 signaling, markers of metabolism, as well as serum leptin levels and leptin synthesis in adipose tissue were examined and compared to that following a central infusion of rapamycin. Our data suggest that the dosing schedule of rapamycin acts on peripheral targets to inhibit mTORC1 signaling, preferentially reducing adiposity and sparing lean mass in an aged model of obesity resulting in favorable outcomes on blood triglycerides, increasing lean/fat ratio, and normalizing elevated serum leptin with age. The initial mechanism underlying the rapamycin responses appears to have a peripheral action and not central. The peripheral rapamycin responses may communicate an excessive nutrients signal to the hypothalamus that triggers an anorexic response to reduce food consumption. This coupled with potential peripheral mechanism serves to decrease adiposity and synthesis of leptin.
Keywords: Leptin synthesis; Rapamycin; mTORC1.
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