Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide is expressed in brain areas involved in the control of appetite, drug reward and homeostatic regulation and it has an overall anorexigenic effect. Recently, we have shown that CART peptide immunoreactivity was significantly reduced in the rostral part of the nucleus accumbens and in the rostro-medial part of the nucleus of the solitary tract in adult CCK-1 receptor deficient obese diabetic Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats compared to Long Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) lean controls. It is not clear, however, whether altered CART expression is caused primarily by the deficiency in CCK-1 signaling or whether is related to the obese and diabetic phenotype of the OLETF strain which develops at a later age. Therefore, in the present study, CART-immunoreaction in feeding-related areas of the brain was compared in young, age-matched (6-7 weeks old) non-obese, non-diabetic OLETF rats and in LETO controls. We found that, young, non-diabetic OLETF rats revealed unaltered distribution of CART-peptide expressing neurons and axons throughout the brain when compared to age-matched LETO rats. In contrast to previous results observed in the obese diabetic adult rats, intensity of CART immunoreaction did not differ in the areas related to control of food-intake and reward in the young OLETFs compared to young LETO rats. Our findings suggest that factors secondary to obesity and/or diabetes rather than impaired CCK-1 receptor signaling may contribute to altered CART expression in the OLETF strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience