Hypothalamic miR-219 regulates individual metabolic differences in response to diet-induced weight cycling

Mariana Schroeder, Yonat Drori, Yair J. Ben-Efraim, Alon Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Consumption of a low calorie diet is the most common approach to lose weight. While generally effective at first, it is frequently followed by a relapse where the pre-diet weight is regained, and often exceeded. This pattern of repeated weight loss/regain is referred to as weight cycling and the resulting metabolic response varies greatly between individuals. Objective: We attempted to address the issue of individual differences in the response to weight cycling in male mice. Methods: We first exposed adult wild type mice to repeated cycles of high/low fat food. Next, using a lentiviral approach, we knocked-down or over-expressed miR-219 in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) of an additional mouse cohort and performed a full metabolic assessment. Results: Exposure of wild type males to weight cycling resulted in the division of the cohort into subsets of resistant versus metabolic-syndrome-prone (MS) animals, which differed in their metabolic profile and hypothalamic miR-219 levels. Lentiviral knock-down of miR-219 in the VMH led to exacerbation of metabolic syndrome. In contrast, over-expression of miR-219 resulted in moderation of the metabolic syndrome phenotype. Conclusions: Our results suggest a role for miR-219 in the mediation of the metabolic phenotype resulting from repeated weight cycling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-186
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Metabolism
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors


  • Diabetes
  • High fat diet
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Ventromedial hypothalamus
  • Weight cycling
  • miRNAs


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