A free-choice high-fat diet modulates the effects of a sucrose bolus on the expression of genes involved in glucose handling in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens

L L Koekkoek, U A Unmehopa, L Eggels, T Kool, K Lamuadni, C Diepenbroek, J D Mul, M J Serlie, S E la Fleur

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


The consumption of saturated fat and sucrose can have synergistic effects on the brain that do not occur when either nutrient is consumed by itself. In this study we hypothesize that saturated fat intake modulates glucose handling in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens, both brain areas highly involved in the control of food intake. To study this, male Wistar rats were given a free-choice high fat diet (fcHFD) or a control diet for two weeks. During the last seven days rats were given a daily bolus of either a 30% sucrose solution or water. Rats were sacrificed on day eight, 30 minutes after the onset of drinking. mRNA and protein levels of genes involved in glucose handling were assessed in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens. We found increased Glut3 and Glut4 mRNA in the hypothalamus of fcHFD-fed rats without an additional effect of the sucrose bolus. In the nucleus accumbens, the sucrose bolus increased Glut3 mRNA and decreased Glut4 mRNA independent of prior diet exposure. The ATP-sensitive potassium channel subunit Kir6.1 in the nucleus accumbens tended to be affected by the synergistic effects of a fcHFD and a sucrose bolus. These data suggest that acute glucose handling in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens may be affected by prior high fat exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112936
JournalPhysiology & Behavior
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020


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