Obesity in the Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty Rat: Mechanisms and Discoveries

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16 Scopus citations


Understanding the neural systems underlying the controls of energy balance has been greatly advanced by identifying the deficits and underlying mechanisms in rodent obesity models. The current review focuses on the Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rat obesity model. Since its recognition in the 1990s, significant progress has been made in identifying the causes and consequences of obesity in this model. Fundamental is a deficit in the cholecystokinin (CCK)-1 receptor gene resulting in the absence of CCK-1 receptors in both the gastrointestinal track and the brain. OLETF rats have a deficit in their ability to limit the size of meals and in contrast to CCK-1 receptor knockout mice, do not compensate for this increase in the size of their spontaneous meals, resulting in hyperphagia. Prior to becoming obese and in response to pair feeding, OLETF rats have increased expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the compact region of the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), and this overexpression contributes to their overall hyperphagia. Study of the OLETF rats has revealed important differences in the organization of the DMH in rats and mice and elucidated previously unappreciated roles for DMH NPY in energy balance and glucose homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - Jul 27 2016


  • CCK-1 receptor
  • cholecystokinin
  • dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus
  • food intake
  • neuropeptide Y
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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