The rapid increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity has been attributed to the increased availability of high fat foods associated with changes in lifestyle. However, recent studies suggest that gestational programming may be a predominant factor in the epidemic of obesity. Intrauterine growth restriction increases risk of adult obesity, likely due to an alteration in appetite regulation development. The hypothalamus is recognized as the most critical appetite regulatory center, through its nuclei which receive input from central and peripheral sources. There are two neurons populations in hypothalamic nuclei that are involved in energy balance regulation, each one expressing different neuropeptides. The aim of present study is to evaluate the effects of protein restriction during gestational period on the hypothalamic energy regulation in male rats, submitted or not to an excess of calories, by high-fat diet ingestion. For this, male rats born from control or protein restricted dams will be fed with normal or high-fat diet from 8th week. After eight weeks of intake of different diets the animals will be evaluated. Thus, this project aims to study the effects of gestational protein restriction on the orexigenic and anorexigenic hypothalamic regulation as well as thermogenesis and the peripheral response to insulin action in offspring of rats subjected to overloading or not caloric intake by of high-fat diet, post-puberty.
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