VMN dopaminergic graft and feeding pattern in obese Zucker rats

S. O. Fetissov, M. M. Meguid, G. Miyata, G. F. Torelli, M. Shafiroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To study the role of dopamine in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMN) in the regulation of meal size and meal number during obesity. METHODS: Embryonic mesencephalic cells rich in dopaminergic neurons from lean rats were grafted into the VMN of obese Zucker rats. Since food intake is the product of meal size and number, these variables were measured using a rat 'eater meter'. Dopamine and serotonin concentrations in the VMN were assayed in grafted and control rats via in vivo microdialysis and HPLC two months after transplantation. RESULTS: Food intake increased in grafted rats due to an increase of both meal size and meal number 2 weeks after implantation and to an increase of meal size with insufficient compensatory decrease of meal number 2 months after transplantation. Grafted rats showed higher absolute dopamine and lower serotonin concentrations in the VMN. CONCLUSION: It would appear that an increase of dopamine and a decrease of serotonin in the VMN of grafted obese rats may correlate with increase in meal number and meal size, respectively. Since obese tucker rats usually display an enlarged meal size, we deduce from the data that chronically elevated VMN dopamine and low serotonin are involved in producing the large meal size observed during obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-381
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Food intake
  • Hypothalamus
  • Meal size
  • Neural transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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