The accumulation of gold in the hypothalamus and the development of hyperphagia and obesity were studied in mice given a single intravenous injection of goldthioglucose at various levels of blood glucose concentration. It was found that the glucose concentration prevailing at the time of goldthioglucose injection was correlated directly with the level of free and bound goldthioglucose in the blood 3 minutes later, with the hypothalamic uptake of gold, with the extent of the hypothalamic lesion, and with the severity of the subsequent hyperphagia and obesity.
Hyperglycemia was associated with an increased gold deposition throughout the brain.
A gold content of 88 ± 12 µg/mg wet tissue in the hypothalamus of fasted animals was associated with clearcut lesions in all animals studied, whereas a similar gold content in the control brain lobes of hyperglycemic animals was not associated with lesions in any animal. This finding indicates that some regions in the brain (e.g. the ventral hypothalamus) are more susceptible than others to damage by goldthioglucose.