Vagotomy diminishes obesity in cafeteria rats by decreasing cholinergic potentiation of insulin release

Sandra Lucinei Balbo, Rosane Aparecida Ribeiro, Mariana Carla Mendes, Camila Lubaczeuski, Ana Claudia Paiva Alegre Maller, Everardo Magalhães Carneiro, Maria Lúcia Bonfleur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Herein, we investigated whether subdiaphragmatic vagotomy has benefits on obesity, body glucose homeostasis, and insulin secretion in cafeteria (CAF)-obese rats. Wistar rats were fed a standard or CAF diet for 12 weeks. Subsequently, CAF rats were randomly submitted to truncal vagotomy (CAF Vag) or sham operation (CAF Sham). CAF Sham rats were hyperphagic, obese, and presented metabolic disturbances, including hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and hypertriglyceridemia. Twelve weeks after vagotomy, CAF Vag rats presented reductions in body weight and perigonadal fat stores. Vagotomy did not modify glucose tolerance but normalized fed glycemia, insulinemia, and insulin sensitivity. Isolated islets from CAF Sham rats secreted more insulin in response to the cholinergic agent, carbachol, and when intracellular cyclic adenine monophosphate (cAMP) is enhanced by forskolin or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine. Vagotomy decreased glucose-induced insulin release due to a reduction in the cholinergic action on β-cells. This effect also normalized islet secretion in response to cAMP. Therefore, vagotomy in rats fed on a CAF-style diet effectively decreases adiposity and restores insulin sensitivity. These effects were mainly associated with the lack of cholinergic action on the endocrine pancreas, which decreases insulinemia and may gradually reduce fat storage and improve insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-633
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cafeteria diet
  • Glucose homeostasis
  • Insulin secretion
  • Obesity
  • Truncal vagotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology


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