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María Abelenda, Maria Paz Nava, Alberto Fernández, and María Luisa Puerta

The participation of sexual hormones in body weight regulation is partly accomplished by altering food intake. Nonetheless, female sexual hormones also alter brown adipose tissue thermogenesis in females. This study was aimed to find out if male hormones could alter brown adipose tissue thermogenesis in male rats. Testosterone was administered by means of Silastic capsules in adult male rats acclimated either at 28°C (thermoneutrality) or at 6°C (cold), treatment lasting 15 days. Food intake and body weight gain were reduced by hormonal treatment. However, brown adipose tissue mass, protein content, mitochondrial mass and GDP-binding were unchanged at both environmental temperatures. Accordingly, testosterone participation in body weight regulation is thought to be carried out without altering brown adipose tissue thermogenesis. A reduction in the weight of the sex accessory glands was also observed after cold acclimation.

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Marisa Puerta, César Venero, Carmen Castro, and María Abelenda

Puerta M, Venero C, Castro C, Abelenda M. Progesterone does not alter sympathetic activity in tissues involved in energy balance. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;134:508–12. ISSN 0804–4643

Female rats acclimated to thermoneutrality to avoid cold influences received progesterone by means of subcutaneous implants. They increased their food intake and body weight above the values recorded in control animals. None the less, despite the enhanced food intake, no sign of activation of the sympathetic nervous system was observed, as judged by the unaltered noradrenaline content, half-life and turnover rate in brown adipose tissue, pancreas and heart. This indicates that progesterone increases food intake but prevents non-energy-conservation processes regulated by the sympathetic nervous system from taking place. Thus, it facilitates in two different ways the building up of energy stores. Because overfeeding induced by palatable diets increases the sympathetic tone to the organs studied, it is suggested that the central mechanisms regulating energy balance are probably influenced in a different manner by progesterone than by the sensory properties of palatable diets.

M Puerta, Departamento de Biología Animal II (Fisiología Animal), Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, Spain