Calorie restriction at increasing levels leads to augmented concentrations of corticosterone and decreasing concentrations of testosterone in rats Academic Article uri icon


  • The influence of calorie restriction (CR) on increasing life span, enhancing immunocompetence, and reducing the incidence of age-related diseases is well established. Evidence points to the involvement of neuroendocrine alterations in these beneficial effects. Accordingly, we hypothesized that CR will result in significant alterations to the hormones investigated. Little attention has been directed toward ascertaining the doses of CR required to obtain such alterations and, indeed, whether a dose-response exists. Adult rats were subjected to 1 of 5 dietary regimens: control, CR12.5%, CR25%, CR37.5%, or CR50%. Rats were decapitated 3 weeks following the onset of restriction; and trunk blood was collected and assayed for concentrations of serum adrenocorticotropic hormone, corticosterone, and testosterone, as well as plasma concentrations of noradrenalin and adrenalin. No effect was found as a result of dietary manipulation for serum concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone. However, all doses of CR resulted in increased serum corticosterone in a dose-response trend. A dose-response was also observed for serum testosterone, with higher doses of CR associated with lower testosterone. Concentrations of noradrenalin were not found to be altered by any CR dose, although a trend toward a down-regulation at CR50% was observed. Plasma adrenalin displayed a biphasic distribution with reductions observed at CR25% and CR50%, although the down-regulations only attained statistical significance relative to the CR37.5% and not the control group. As well as reporting the effect of CR on multiple hormones within individual animals, these results go some way in determining the optimal levels of CR needed to induce neuroendocrinologic alterations.

publication date

  • May 2010