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Cold exposure promotes obesity and impairs glucose homeostasis in mice subjected to a highfat diet


Cold exposure is considered to be a form of stress and has various adverse effects on the body. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of chronic daily cold exposure on food intake, body weight, serum glucose levels and the central energy balance regulatory pathway in mice fed with a highfat diet (HFD). C57BL/6 mice were divided into two groups, which were fed with a standard chow or with a HFD. Half of the mice in each group were exposed to icecold water for 1 h/day for 7 weeks, while the controls were exposed to room temperature. Chronic daily cold exposure significantly increased energy intake, body weight and serum glucose levels in HFDfed mice compared with the control group. In addition, 1 h after the final cold exposure, cfos immunoreactivity was significantly increased in the central amygdala of HFDfed mice compared with HFDfed mice without cold exposure, indicating neuronal activation in this brain region. Notably, 61% of these cfos neurons coexpressed the neuropeptide Y (NPY), and the orexigenic peptide levels were significantly increased in the central amygdala of coldexposed mice compared with control mice. Notably, cold exposure significantly decreased the anorexigenic brainderived neurotropic factor (BDNF) messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus and increased growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) mRNA in the paraventricular nucleus. NPYergic neurons in the central amygdala were activated by chronic cold exposure in mice on HFD via neuronal pathways to decrease BDNF and increase GHRH mRNA expression, possibly contributing to the development of obesity and impairment of glucose homeostasis.

Type Journal
ISBN 1791-3004 (Electronic) 1791-2997 (Linking)
Authors Zhu, P.; Zhang, Z. H.; Huang, X. F.; Shi, Y. C.; Khandekar, N.; Yang, H. Q.; Liang, S. Y.; Song, Z. Y.; Lin, S.
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Yanchuan Shi
Publisher Name Molecular Medicine Reports
Published Date 2018-10-01
Published Volume 18
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 3923-3931
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.3892/mmr.2018.9382
URL link to publisher's version