Induction of neuropeptide Y expression in dorsomedial hypothalamus of diet-induced obese mice

Neuroreport. 1998 Oct 26;9(15):3415-9. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199810260-00015.


Alterations of hypothalamic neuropeptide Y(NPY) and melanocortinergic functions in diet-induced obese (DIO) C57BL/6J mice were investigated by in situ hybridization. Compared with controls, the DIO mice displayed a profound induction (approximately 40-fold) of NPY expression in the dorsomedial (DMH) and ventromedial (VMH) hypothalamic nuclei, whereas the level of NPY mRNA in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) was reduced by 44%. The expression of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein was not significantly altered in the ARC of obese mice. Both excess body weight gain and altered hypothalamic NPY expression were reversible. We propose that the highly induced NPY expression in DMH and/or VMH may be a contributing etiological factor for the development of obesity and leptin resistance in the DIO mice.

MeSH terms

  • Agouti Signaling Protein
  • Agouti-Related Protein
  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Dorsomedial Hypothalamic Nucleus / chemistry*
  • Dorsomedial Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiology*
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese / physiology*
  • Neuropeptide Y / genetics*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / physiology
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / genetics
  • Proteins / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Ventromedial Hypothalamic Nucleus / chemistry
  • Ventromedial Hypothalamic Nucleus / physiology


  • Agouti Signaling Protein
  • Agouti-Related Protein
  • Agrp protein, mouse
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin