Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Evidence that tumor necrosis factor-alpha[ndash ]induced hyperinsulinemia prevents decreases of circulating leptin during fasting in rats


Administration of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) acutely increases leptin gene expression and circulating leptin concentrations in rodents and humans. Since TNF-alpha also induces hyperinsulinemia, and because insulin is a potent stimulator of leptin production, we hypothesized that elevated plasma insulin mediates TNF-alpha-induced increases of circulating leptin. To test this hypothesis, rats were made insulin-deficient with streptozotocin (STZ) and treated with subcutaneous implants that released insulin at a constant rate and thereby "clamped" insulin levels. STZ-diabetic and nondiabetic rats were injected with TNF-alpha or vehicle; plasma leptin, insulin, and glucose concentrations were measured during an initial 12-hour postinjection period of fasting and after a subsequent 12-hour period of refeeding. Food intake during the 12 hours after fasting was assessed as a physiologic correlate of changes in leptin concentrations. In nondiabetic rats, TNF-alpha increased plasma insulin (P =.016) and prevented the fasting-induced decrease of circulating leptin (P =.004) over the initial 12 hours compared with vehicle. Food intake during the refeeding period was 30% lower (P =.008) when the nondiabetic animals were injected with TNF-alpha. In contrast, TNF-alpha did not affect leptin concentrations in STZ-diabetic animals with clamped plasma insulin levels or their food intake during the refeeding period. These results suggest that TNF-alpha-induced hyperinsulinemia likely mediates the stimulatory effect of TNF-alpha on circulating leptin in vivo. Elevated leptin levels may in turn contribute to the effect of TNF-alpha to decrease food intake.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View