Motivation, Emotion, Feeding, Drinking, Sexual BehaviourHypothalamic insulin and neuropeptide Y in the offspring of gestational diabetic mother ratsPlagemann, Andreas1,2; Harder, Thomas1; Rake, Annett1; Melchior, Kerstin1; Rittel, Fanny1; Rohde, Wolfgang1; Dörner, Günter1Author Information 1Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Humboldt University Medical School (Charité), Schumannstr. 20/21, 10098 Berlin, Germany 2Corresponding Author: Andreas Plagemann ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (PL 241/1-1). Received 2 September 1998; accepted 30 September 1998 NeuroReport: December 21st, 1998 - Volume 9 - Issue 18 - p 4069-4073 Buy Abstract THE offspring of diabetic mothers is at increased risk to develop obesity and diabetogenic disturbances during life. Pathophysiological mechanisms responsible are unclear. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is an important hypothalamic stimulator of food intake and body weight gain, and its levels are decreased by elevated insulin. In neonatally hyperinsulinaemic offspring of diabetic mother rats, hypothalamic insulin level was significantly increased at birth (p < 0.01). At weaning, i.e. at the end of the critical hypothalamic differentiation period, a significantly increased number of NPY-positive neurons (p < 0.01) appeared in the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus. In conclusion, an increase in the number of NPYergic neurons in the hypothalamus, possibly due to hypothalamic malformation and/or perinatally acquired hypothalamic insulin resistance, might contribute to the development of obesity and metabolic disturbances in the offspring of diabetic mothers. © 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.