Temporal and Site-Specific Changes in Central Neuroimmune Factors During Rapid Weight Gain After Ovariectomy in Rats

Kathleen Curtis, Kelly McCracken, Enith Espinosa, Johnson Ong, Daniel J. Buck, Randall Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Systemic inflammation is present in obesity and emerging evidence, primarily from studies using male rodents fed high-fat diets, suggests neuroimmune signaling also is involved. We investigated early changes in neuroimmune signaling during the weight gain that follows ovariectomy in rats. Ovariectomized (OVX) rats were given standard rat chow and terminated 5 days (baseline), 4 or 8 weeks after ovariectomy. Levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in plasma and periuterine adipose were not affected by ovariectomy. In contrast, compared to baseline levels, IL-6 expression in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and dorsal vagal complex (DVC) decreased by 4 weeks after OVX, but was not affected in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). MCP-1 expression decreased by 4 weeks in the ARC and by 8 weeks in the PVN, but was not affected in the DVC. Increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression in the PVN indicated astrocyte activation; decreased toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) expression in the ARC, but not other regions, suggested early effects on innate immune factors. Importantly, in reproductively intact rats, IL-6 and MCP-1 levels in plasma, periuterine adipose, and brain regions were not affected after 8 weeks. Unlike OVX rats, GFAP expression in the DVC of intact rats was decreased at 8 weeks, and TLR4 expression in the ARC was increased at 8 weeks. Taken together, these dynamic and selective changes in neuroimmune factors co-incident with post-ovariectomy weight gain provide insight into the role of neuroimmune signaling in obesity, particularly in females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1802-1813
Number of pages12
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Arcuate nucleus
  • Dorsal vagal complex
  • IL-6
  • MCP-1
  • Paraventricular nucleus
  • TLR4

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