NCB5OR Deficiency in the Cerebellum and Midbrain Leads to Dehydration and Alterations in Thirst Response, Fasted Feeding Behavior, and Voluntary Exercise in Mice

Cerebellum. 2018 Apr;17(2):152-164. doi: 10.1007/s12311-017-0880-7.


Cytosolic NADH-cytochrome-b5-oxidoreductase (NCB5OR) is ubiquitously expressed in animal tissues. We have previously reported that global ablation of NCB5OR in mice results in early-onset lean diabetes with decreased serum leptin levels and increased metabolic and feeding activities. The conditional deletion of NCB5OR in the mouse cerebellum and midbrain (conditional knock out, CKO mice) results in local iron dyshomeostasis and altered locomotor activity. It has been established that lesion to or removal of the cerebellum leads to changes in nutrient organization, visceral response, feeding behavior, and body weight. This study assessed whether loss of NCB5OR in the cerebellum and midbrain altered feeding or metabolic activity and had an effect on serum T3, cortisol, prolactin, and leptin levels. Metabolic cage data revealed that 16 week old male CKO mice had elevated respiratory quotients and decreased respiratory water expulsion, decreased voluntary exercise, and altered feeding and drinking behavior compared to wild-type littermate controls. Most notably, male CKO mice displayed higher consumption of food during refeeding after a 48-h fast. Echo MRI revealed normal body composition but decreased total water content and hydration ratios in CKO mice. Increased serum osmolality measurements confirmed the dehydration status of male CKO mice. Serum leptin levels were significantly elevated in male CKO mice while prolactin, T3, and cortisol levels remain unchanged relative to wild-type controls, consistent with elevated transcript levels for leptin receptors (short form) in the male CKO mouse cerebellum. Taken together, these findings suggest altered feeding response post starvation as a result of NCB5OR deficiency in the cerebellum.

Keywords: Cerebellum; Dehydration; Exercise; Leptin; Mouse; Ncb5or; RER.

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensins / blood
  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Cerebellum / pathology*
  • Cytochrome-B(5) Reductase / deficiency*
  • Cytochrome-B(5) Reductase / genetics
  • Fasting / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Leptin / blood
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Prolactin / blood
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rotarod Performance Test
  • Thirst / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Angiotensins
  • Leptin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Prolactin
  • Ncb5or protein, mouse
  • Cytochrome-B(5) Reductase
  • Hydrocortisone