While the hypothalamus has been implicated in the regulation of energy balance, the central mechanisms and neural circuit that coordinate the feeding response to energy deficit have not been fully clarified. To better understand the role of the hypothalamus in mediating hyperphagic responses to food deprivation or glucoprivation, we examined the feeding responses in rats in which the medial hypothalamus (MH) was isolated from the rest of the brain. The isolation of the MH was performed with a Halasz's knife cut, and experiments were performed 7 days after the operation. Food consumption between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in rats which had been fasted overnight was significantly increased compared to that in rats which had access to food ad libitum before the measurement in both the sham and MH-isolated groups, and the absolute values of food consumption in fasted rats were not significantly different between the groups. On the other hand, while an injection of 2-deoxy-d-glucose, which blocks glucose utilization, significantly increased food consumption for 2 h after injection compared to a saline injection in the sham group, it did not increase food intake compared to saline injection in the MH-isolated groups. Thus, it is demonstrated that glucoprivation is not an effective stimulus to induce feeding in MH-isolated rats.
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