Compared were the light-dark pattern of absolute energy intake and macronutrient selection of male Wistar rats intracerebroventricularly infused with glucagon (5 ng/h) or saline for 7 days in a three-way selection of macronutrients. Glucagon infusion induced a decrease in 24 h and nocturnal energy intake, whereas no significant change in kcal intake accompanied vehicle infusion. The decrease in kcal intake was due to a suppression of nocturnal ingestion of carbohydrate. This parameter was left unaffected with central vehicle infusion. Glucagon-infused rats had a significantly lower body weight gain than those infused with vehicle. Our study supports the hypothesis of central glucagon's suppressive effect on food intake, but reveals that the latter reflects a lower disposition to eat carbohydrate during the dark phase. The present work emphasizes the role of glucagon in the circadian regulation of carbohydrate intake.
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