Disease models & mechanisms

Repletion of TNFα or leptin in calorically restricted mice suppresses post-restriction hyperphagia.

PMID 21954068


The causes of post-restriction hyperphagia (PRH) represent a target for drug-based therapies to prevent obesity. However, the factors causing PRH are poorly understood. We show that, in mice, the extent of PRH was independent of the time under restriction, but depended on its severity, suggesting that PRH was driven by signals from altered body composition. Signals related to fat mass were important drivers. Circulating levels of leptin and TNFα were significantly depleted following caloric restriction (CR). We experimentally repleted their levels to match those of controls, and found that in both treatment groups the level of PRH was significantly blunted. These data establish a role for TNFα and leptin in the non-pathological regulation of energy homeostasis. Signals from adipose tissue, including but not limited to leptin and TNFα, regulate PRH and might be targets for therapies that support people engaged in CR to reduce obesity.