Neurochemical Research

, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 1802–1813 | Cite as

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

  • Kathleen S. Curtis
  • Kelly McCracken
  • Enith Espinosa
  • Johnson Ong
  • Daniel J. Buck
  • Randall L. DavisEmail author
Original Paper


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.


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



Portions of this work were presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (San Diego, CA; 2016). This study was supported in part by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (8P20GM103447; E.E.) and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST HR12-196; K.S.C.).

Author Contributions

The authors contributed to the work as follows: KS, RD—Conceptualization, experimental design, data collection and analysis, writing, and editing. KM, EE, JO, DB—data collection and analysis, writing and editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen S. Curtis
    • 1
  • Kelly McCracken
    • 1
  • Enith Espinosa
    • 1
  • Johnson Ong
    • 1
  • Daniel J. Buck
    • 1
  • Randall L. Davis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Oklahoma State University—Center for Health SciencesTulsaUSA

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