open access

Vol 68, No 4 (2009)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2009-11-26
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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Ultrastructural response of arcuate nucleus neurons to fasting in aged rats

J. Kubasik-Juraniec, A. Zauszkiewicz-Pawlak, G. Kotlarz, M. Woźniak, N. Knap
Folia Morphol 2009;68(4):218-223.

open access

Vol 68, No 4 (2009)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2009-11-26
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) is involved in the control of energy homeostasis. Leptin - an adipocyte derived hormone - is known to act on the hypothalamic nuclei and thus to control body weight by food intake reduction. Oxidative stress is believed to be implicated in leptin signalling. However, its relevance for leptin-induced signal transduction within ARH remains unclear. The goal of the study was to investigate the effect of fasting on morphological alterations of the neuronal endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi network as well as on the expression of leptin receptors in the arcuate nucleus of aged rats. Male Wistar rats, aged 24 months, were fasted for 96 hours. The control animals were fed ad libitum. Membranous whorls in the ARH neurons were visualized using the electron microscopy technique. Leptin receptors in the membranes of ARH neurons were determined immunohistochemically (IHC), and soluble leptin receptors in the plasma as well as plasma isoprostanes were quantified immunochemically (ELISA). An intense formation of membranous whorls was observed, directly associated with the cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum, as well as lamellar bodies. Interestingly, the whorls were often localized near a well-developed Golgi complex. Moreover, some Golgi complexes displayed an early stage of whorl formation. Groups of residual lipofuscin granules were found in the immediate proximity of the whorls. An increased immunoreactivity with neuronal leptin receptors suggests that hypersensitive neurons may still effectively respond to the fasting serum levels of leptin, mediating ultrastructural transformation of ARH neurons during short-term fasting. Having observed a significant accumulation of lipofuscin granules and a marked increase of total 8-isoprostane serum level in the fasting rats, we hypothesize that signal transduction within the neurons of ARH is dependent on oxidative stress phenomena.

Abstract

The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) is involved in the control of energy homeostasis. Leptin - an adipocyte derived hormone - is known to act on the hypothalamic nuclei and thus to control body weight by food intake reduction. Oxidative stress is believed to be implicated in leptin signalling. However, its relevance for leptin-induced signal transduction within ARH remains unclear. The goal of the study was to investigate the effect of fasting on morphological alterations of the neuronal endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi network as well as on the expression of leptin receptors in the arcuate nucleus of aged rats. Male Wistar rats, aged 24 months, were fasted for 96 hours. The control animals were fed ad libitum. Membranous whorls in the ARH neurons were visualized using the electron microscopy technique. Leptin receptors in the membranes of ARH neurons were determined immunohistochemically (IHC), and soluble leptin receptors in the plasma as well as plasma isoprostanes were quantified immunochemically (ELISA). An intense formation of membranous whorls was observed, directly associated with the cisternae of the rough endoplasmic reticulum, as well as lamellar bodies. Interestingly, the whorls were often localized near a well-developed Golgi complex. Moreover, some Golgi complexes displayed an early stage of whorl formation. Groups of residual lipofuscin granules were found in the immediate proximity of the whorls. An increased immunoreactivity with neuronal leptin receptors suggests that hypersensitive neurons may still effectively respond to the fasting serum levels of leptin, mediating ultrastructural transformation of ARH neurons during short-term fasting. Having observed a significant accumulation of lipofuscin granules and a marked increase of total 8-isoprostane serum level in the fasting rats, we hypothesize that signal transduction within the neurons of ARH is dependent on oxidative stress phenomena.
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Keywords

arcuate nucleus; fasting; whorls; leptin receptors

About this article
Title

Ultrastructural response of arcuate nucleus neurons to fasting in aged rats

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 68, No 4 (2009)

Pages

218-223

Published online

2009-11-26

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2009;68(4):218-223.

Keywords

arcuate nucleus
fasting
whorls
leptin receptors

Authors

J. Kubasik-Juraniec
A. Zauszkiewicz-Pawlak
G. Kotlarz
M. Woźniak
N. Knap

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