Both increased and decreased fatty acid (FA) availability contribute to control of food intake. For example, it is well documented that intestinal FA reduces feeding by triggering enterondocrine secretion of satietogenic peptides, such as cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). In contrast, mechanisms by which decreased FA availability increase feeding are not well understood. Over the past three decades substantial research related to FA availability and increased feeding has involved use of the orexigenic compound mercaptoacetate (MA). Because MA reportedly inhibits FA oxidation, it has been assumed that reduced FA oxidation accounts for the orexigenic action of MA. Recently, however, we demonstrated that MA antagonizes G protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40), a membrane receptor for long and medium chain FA. We also demonstrated that, by antagonizing GPR40, MA inhibits GLP-1 secretion and attenuates vagal afferent activation by FA. Because both vagal afferent activation and GLP-1 inhibit food intake, we postulated that inhibition of GPR40 by MA might underlie the orexigenic action of MA. We tested this hypothesis using male and female GPR40 knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice. Using several testing protocols, we found that MA increased feeding in WT, but not GPR40 KO mice, and that GPR40 KO mice gained more weight than WT on a high-fat diet. Metabolic monitoring after MA or saline injection in the absence of food did not reveal significant differences in respiratory quotient or energy expenditure between treatment groups or genotypes. These results support the hypothesis that MA stimulates food intake by blocking FA effects on GPR40.
- fatty acid
- lipoprivic feeding
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