Low-dose leptin infusion in the fourth ventricle of rats enhances the response to third-ventricle leptin injection

Ruth B.S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We previously reported that low-dose leptin infusions into the third or fourth ventricle that do not affect energy balance when given independently cause rapid weight loss when given simultaneously. Therefore, we tested whether hindbrain leptin enhances the response to forebrain leptin or whether forebrain leptin enhances the response to hindbrain leptin. Rats received fourth-ventricle infusions of saline or 0.01, 0.1, 0.3, or 0.6 μg leptin/day for 13 days. On days 9 and 13, 0.1 μg leptin was injected into the third ventricle. The injection inhibited food intake for 36 h in saline-infused rats but for 60 h in those infused with 0.6 μg leptin/day. Leptin injection increased intrascapular brown fat temperature in leptin-infused, but not saline-infused, rats. In a separate experiment, rats received third-ventricle infusions of saline or 0.005, 0.01, 0.05, or 0.1 μg leptin/day and fourth-ventricle injections of 1.0 μg leptin on days 9 and 13. Leptin injection inhibited food intake, respiratory exchange ratio, and 14-h food intake in rats infused with saline or the two lowest doses of leptin. There was no effect with higher-dose leptin infusions because food intake, body fat, and lean mass were already inhibited. These data suggest that activation of leptin receptors in the hindbrain enhances the response to third-ventricle leptin, whereas activation of forebrain leptin receptors does not enhance the response to fourth-ventricle leptin, consistent with our previous finding that weight loss in rats treated with fourth-ventricle leptin is associated with indirect activation of hypothalamic STAT3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E134-E147
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • Food intake
  • Intrascapular brown fat temperature
  • Respiratory exchange ratio
  • Weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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