The present experiments have tested the hypothesis that ventromedial hypothalamic (VMH) lesions enhance insulin secretion by neural mechanisms. Rats were made diabetic by injecting streptozotocin to destroy their own pancreatic beta-cells. Subsequently, transplants of fetal pancreatic tissue were placed under the renal capsule. VMH lesions were placed in rats whose diabetes was cured with transplants as well as sham-transplanted animals. The animals were followed for 4 wk. The lesioned rats with pancreatic transplants gained no more weight than the sham-operated controls. There was no significant rise in insulin in the transplanted rats after VMH lesioning, but the VMH lesioned rats with intact pancreatic tissue showed the expected rise in insulin. Food intake rose 71% in the VMH lesioned rats with intact beta-cells, but only 23% in the VMH lesioned rats with transplants. Hypertrophy of the pancreatic islets was also observed in the VMH lesioned rats with an intact pancreas, but was not found in the VMH lesioned rats with a transplanted pancreas. Thus, transplantation of pancreatic tissue beneath the renal capsule of diabetic rats prevented the characteristic hyperphagia, hyperinsulinemia, and obesity in VMH lesioned rats whose pancreas was free from intact innervation. The results support the hypothesis that neural mediation of the rise in insulin is the primary factor in the development of hypothalamic obesity.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Physiological Society