Weight loss in rats exposed to repeated acute restraint stress is independent of energy or leptin status

Ruth B.S. Harris, Tiffany D. Mitchell, Jacob Simpson, Stephen M. Redmann, Bradley D. Youngblood, Donna H. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Acute release of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) during repeated restraint (3-h restraint on each of 3 days) causes temporary hypophagia but chronic suppression of body weight in rats. Here we demonstrated that a second bout of repeated restraint caused additional weight loss, but continuing restraint daily for 10 days did not increase weight loss because the rats adapted to the stress. In these two studies serum leptin, which suppresses the endocrine response to stress, was reduced in restrained rats. Peripheral infusion of leptin before and during restraint did not prevent stress-induced weight loss, although stress-induced corticosterone release was suppressed. Restrained rats were hyperthermic during restraint, but there was no evidence that fever or elevated free interleukin-6 caused the sustained reduction in weight. Restraining food-restricted rats caused a small but significant weight loss. Food-restricted rats fed ad libitum after the end of restraint showed a blunted hyperphagia and slower rate of weight regain than their controls. These results indicate that repeated acute stress induces a chronic change in weight independent of stress-induced hypophagia and may represent a change in homeostasis initiated by repeated acute activation of the central CRF system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R77-R88
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number1 51-1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Corticosterone
  • Corticotropin-releasing factor
  • Food intake
  • Food restriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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