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Investigation of the effects of long-term nocturnal feeding on blood leptin and lipids values, weight management, and behavior, in elderly wistar rats

Gönülkırmaz, Özlem
Today, obesity is one of the most important health problems. For long, obesity has been linked to the diet type and daily caloric intake. The effect of time restricted feeding (TRF) on the weight management is less documented. The aim of this study was to investigate whether long-term night-time restricted feeding affects body weight gain, metabolic parameters, blood leptin levels, and behavioral performance in elderly overweight male Wistar rats. For 3 months (10 years in human), 14-months old, overweight male Wistar rats (n=6) were subjected to a time-restricted diet (TRF group) with food (standard lab chow) provided during 8 h of the dark phase of the diurnal cycle. Control group (n=6), was maintained on ad libitum diet (ADLIB group). Blood levels of triglycerides, HDL, LDL and leptin were measured and a battery of behavioral tests was performed before and after the diet implementation. Longitudinal (pre-post treatment) and cross-sectional (TRF versus ADLIB diet) comparisons revealed: no between-group differences in food intake and body weight gain, locomotor activity (Open Field), anxiety levels (OF & Elevated Plus Maze), and short- or long-term memory retention (Water Maze); positive effect of TRF on motor performance in Accelerod task; trend towards slower place learning in TRF group during post-treatment test; increase in the blood LDL and leptin levels in ADLIB but not TRF group. In conclusion, prolonged time-restriction feeding even when overlapping with diurnal phase of increased activity does not significantly affect metabolic and behavioral parameters in elderly overweight male rats.