Effect of repeated stress on body weight and body composition of rats fed low- and high-fat diets

Ruth B.S. Harris, Jun Zhou, Bradley D. Youngblood, Igor I. Rybkin, Gennady N. Smagin, Donna H. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Exposure to the moderate stressor of 3-h restraint for 3 consecutive days causes a temporary drop in food intake but a permanent reduction in body weight in adult rats. Young rats did not show the same response. Food intake of adult rats exposed to repeated restraint was significantly lower than that of controls for 4 days after the end of stress, and there was no rebound hyperphagia. Body weight remained significantly lower for at least 40 days after stress. When the rats were fed a high-fat diet of 80% chow and 20% vegetable shortening (48% kcal fat, 16% protein), lean body mass accounted for all of the weight loss in stressed rats. When the experiment was repeated with a purified high-fat diet containing corn oil and coconut oil as the source of fat (41% kcal fat, 16% protein), weight loss consisted of both lean and fat tissue. There were no sustained changes in single time point measures of corticosterone, insulin, or leptin that could account for the reduced body weight in these rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1928-R1938
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6 44-6
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Hormones
  • Lean body mass
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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