The central mechanisms underlying the marked beneficial metabolic effects of bariatric surgery are unclear. Here, we characterized global gene expression in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (Arc) in diet-induced obese (DIO) rats following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). 60 days post-RYGB, the Arc was isolated by laser-capture microdissection and global gene expression was assessed by RNA sequencing. RYGB lowered body weight and adiposity as compared to sham-operated DIO rats. Discrete transcriptome changes were observed in the Arc following RYGB, including differential expression of genes associated with inflammation and neuropeptide signaling. RYGB reduced gene expression of glial cell markers, including Gfap, Aif1 and Timp1, confirmed by a lower number of GFAP immunopositive astrocyte profiles in the Arc. Sham-operated weight-matched rats demonstrated a similar glial gene expression signature, suggesting that RYGB and dietary restriction have common effects on hypothalamic gliosis. Considering that RYGB surgery also led to increased orexigenic and decreased anorexigenic gene expression, this may signify increased hunger-associated signaling at the level of the Arc. Hence, induction of counterregulatory molecular mechanisms downstream from the Arc may play an important role in RYGB-induced weight loss.