Effect of short-term cigarette smoke exposure on body weight, appetite and brain neuropeptide Y in mice

Nature Publishing Group
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Journal Article
Neuropsychopharmacology, 2005, 30 (4), pp. 713 - 719
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Although nicotinic receptors have been demonstrated in hypothalamic appetite-regulating areas and nicotine administration alters food intake and body weight in both animals and humans, the mechanisms underlying the effects of smoking on appetite circuits remain unclear. Conflicting effects of nicotine on the major orexigenic peptide, neuropeptide Y (NPY), have been observed in the brain, but the effects of smoking are unknown. Thus, we aimed to investigate how cigarette smoking affects body weight, food intake, plasma leptin concentration, hypothalamic NPY peptide, adipose mass and mRNA expression of uncoupling proteins (UCP), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) a. Balb/C mice (8 weeks) were exposed to cigarette smoke (three cigarettes, three times a day for 4 consecutive days) or sham exposed. Body weight and food intake were recorded. Plasma leptin and brain NPY were measured by radioimmunoassay. UCPs and TNF a mRNA were measured by real-time PCR. Food intake dropped significantly from the first day of smoking, and weight loss became evident within 2 days. Brown fat and retroperitoneal white fat masses were significantly reduced, and plasma leptin concentration was decreased by 34%, in line with the decreased fat mass. NPY concentrations in hypothalamic subregions were similar between two groups. UCP1 mRNA was decreased in white fat and UCP3 mRNA increased in brown fat in smoking group. Short-term cigarette smoke exposure led to reduced body weight, food intake, and fat mass. The reduction in plasma leptin concentration may have been too modest to increase NPY production; alternatively, change in NPY or its function might have been offset by nicotine or other elements in cigarette smoke.
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