Consumption of a low calorie diet is the most common approach to lose weight. While generally effective at first, it is frequently followed by a relapse where the pre-diet weight is regained, and often exceeded. This pattern of repeated weight loss/regain is referred to as weight cycling and the resulting metabolic response varies greatly between individuals.
Objective: We attempted to address the issue of individual differences in the response to weight cycling in male mice.
Methods: We first exposed adult wild type mice to repeated cycles of high/low fat food. Next, using a lentiviral approach, we knocked-down or over-expressed miR-219 in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) of an additional mouse cohort and performed a full metabolic assessment.
Results: Exposure of wild type males to weight cycling resulted in the division of the cohort into subsets of resistant versus metabolic-syndrome-prone (MS) animals, which differed in their metabolic profile and hypothalamic miR-219 levels. Lentiviral knock-down of miR-219 in the VMH led to exacerbation of metabolic syndrome. In contrast, over-expression of miR-219 resulted in moderation of the metabolic syndrome phenotype.
Conclusions: Our results suggest a role for miR-219 in the mediation of the metabolic phenotype resulting from repeated weight cycling.
Keywords: Diabetes; High fat diet; Metabolic syndrome; Ventromedial hypothalamus; Weight cycling; miRNAs.
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