Proanthocyanidins potentiate hypothalamic leptin/STAT3 signalling and Pomc gene expression in rats with diet-induced obesity
Objective:Dietary obesity is usually linked with hypothalamic leptin resistance, in which the primary impact is an interference in the homeostatic control of body weight and appetite. Notably, proanthocyanidins (PACs), which are the most abundant phenolic compounds present in human diet, modulate adiposity and food intake. The aim of this study was to assess whether PACs could re-establish appropriate leptin signalling in both the hypothalamus and peripheral tissues.Design:Male Wistar rats were fed either a standard chow diet (STD group, n=7) or a cafeteria diet (CD) for 13 weeks. The CD-fed rats were treated with either grape-seed PAC extract (GSPE) at 25 mg per kg of body weight per day (CD+GSPE group, n=7) or with the vehicle (CD group, n=7) for the last 21 days of the study period. Specific markers for intracellular leptin signalling, inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress in the hypothalamus, liver, mesenteric white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle were analysed using immunoblotting and quantitative PCR.Results:GSPE treatment significantly reduced the food intake but did not reverse the hyperleptinemia and body wt gain assessed. However, the animals treated with GSPE exhibited greater hypothalamic activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3, which was associated with a rise in the Pomc mRNA levels compared with the CD group. In addition, this restoration of leptin responsiveness was accompanied by lower local inflammation and increased Sirt1 gene expression. The effects of the GSPE treatment in the peripheral tissues were not as evident as those in the hypothalamus, although the GSPE treatment significantly restored the mRNA levels of Socs3 and Ptp1b in the skeletal muscle.Conclusions:The use of GSPE reduces hyperphagia and improves the central and peripheral leptin resistance associated with diet-induced obesity. Our results suggest that GSPE could exert these effects partially by increasing Sirt1 expression and preventing hypothalamic inflammation.
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