Differences in response to corticotropin-releasing factor after short- and long-term consumption of a high-fat diet

Ariadne Legendre, Emilia Papakonstantinou, Marie Claude Roy, Denis Richard, Ruth B.S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


We previously reported an exaggerated endocrine and weight loss response to stress in rats fed a high-fat (HF) diet for 5 days. Others report blunted stress-induced anxiety in rats made obese on a HF diet. Experiments described here tested whether sensitivity to stress-related peptides was changed in obese and nonobese HF-fed rats. Third ventricle infusion of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) in rats made obese on HF diet (40% kcal fat) produced an exaggerated hypophagia, which is thought to be mediated by CRF2 receptors. Obese rats responded to a lower dose of CRF for a longer time than rats fed a low-fat (LF) diet (12% kcal fat). CRF-induced release of corticosterone, which is thought to be mediated by CRF1 receptors, was not exaggerated in obese HF-fed rats. In contrast, rats fed HF diet for 5 days showed the same food intake and corticosterone response to CRF as LF-fed rats. CRF mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus was stimulated by mild stress (ip saline injection and placement in a novel cage) in LF-fed rats but not in rats fed HF diet for 5 days because of a nonsignificant increase in expression in nonstressed HF-fed rats. In addition, nonstressed levels of urocortin (UCN) I mRNA expression in the Edinger-Westphal nucleus were significantly inhibited in HF-fed rats. These data suggest that rats that have become obese on a HF diet show a change in responsiveness to stress peptides, whereas the increased stress response in nonobese HF-fed rats may be associated with changes in basal CRF and UCN I mRNA expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1076-R1085
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2007
Externally publishedYes



  • Corticosterone
  • Corticotropin-releasing factor mRNA
  • Food intake
  • Rats
  • Urocortin I mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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