Early postnatal overnutrition disrupts satiety without altering vagal gastrointestinal afferents. PHYSIOL BEHAV 00(0) 000-000, 2010. Early postnatal overnutrition results in a predisposition to develop obesity due in part to hypothalamic and sympathetic dysfunction. Potential involvement of another major regulatory system component - the vagus nerve - has not been examined. Moreover, feeding disturbances have rarely been investigated prior to development of obesity when confounds due to obesity are minimized. To examine these issues, litters were culled on the day of birth to create small litters (SL; overnutrition), or normal-size litters (NL; normal nutrition). Body weight, fat pad weight, meal patterns, and vagal sensory duodenal innervation were compared between SL and NL adult mice prior to development of obesity. Meal patterns were studied 18 hour/day for 3 weeks using a balanced diet. Then vagal mechanoreceptors were labeled using anterograde transport of wheatgerm agglutinin-horseradish peroxidase injected into the nodose ganglion and their density and morphology were examined. Between postnatal day 1 and weaning, body weight of SL mice was greater than for NL mice. By young adulthood it was similar in both groups, whereas SL fat pad weight was greater in males, suggesting postnatal overnutrition produced a predisposition to obesity. SL mice exhibited increased food intake, decreased satiety ratio, and increased first meal rate (following mild food deprivation) compared to NL mice, suggesting postnatal overnutrition disrupted satiety. The density and structure of intestinal IGLEs appeared similar in SL and NL mice. Thus, although a vagal role cannot be excluded, our meal parameter and anatomical findings provided no evidence for significant postnatal overnutrition effects on vagal gastrointestinal afferents.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Physiology and Behavior. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Physiology and Behavior, [101(1):184-91] DOI#10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.04.011


satiety, gastrointestinal tract, ingestive behavior, intraganglionic laminar endings, adipose tissue, meal pattern, meal microstructure

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