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Effect of sympathetic blockade on diet induced thermogenesis in the congenic LA/Ntul//-cp rat

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The effects of overfeeding highly palatable diets via the cafeteria feeding diet method (Café) has been shown to be a reliable experimental model to induce diet induced thermogenesis (DIT) in young adult normally lean rats of several strains. Groups of young adult lean LA/Ntul//-cp rats were offered a Purina chow diet (CHOW) or the same diet plus a daily café supplement both ad libitum from 10 until 24 weeks of age. The drug α-methylparatyrosine (α-MPT) was administered groups (250 mg α-MPT/kg BW, i.p.) to ablate sympathetic (SNS) activity or a sham injection of physiologic saline given, and measures of fasting resting thermogenesis obtained at thermal neutrality (30°C) before and after the α-MPT or sham administration. The Café diet resulted in a 67% increase in body weight (BW) and a ~25% increase in resting oxygen consumption (VO2) following café overfeeding in both groups, while only a 40% increase in BW and no additional increase in VO2 occurred in normally CHOW fed rats while the sham injection was without any variations from normal physiologic responses as predicted. Sympathetic blockade with α-MPT was associated with modest decreases in body temperature and an average ~12-15% decrease in VO2 in the café treated group, but when the VO2 data were arithmetically corrected to isothermal conditions only a net 3% decrease occurred in CHOW fed rats and was without effect on the SHAM group. Serum T3 concentrations increased by 92% and urinary catecholamine excretion of VMA >250% following the café diet, but the urinary vanilmandelic acid (VMA) excretion was virtually nil following the sympathetic blockade. These observations indicate that the SNS-mediated contribution component to DIT following prolonged café overfeeding under conditions of thermal neutrality contribute approximately 50% of the thermic response, while under normal long term CHOW feeding the SNS component may be as little as 3 % of the thermic response, and that the total thermic response of DIT likely represents a combination of short acting SNS and longer acting non-SNS mechanisms, including a likely significant thyroidal component in normally lean animals.


Thermogenesis, sympathetic ablation, ?-methylparatyrosine, rats, overfeeding