High-fat diet can induce obesity. However, it is not known if the neural activity of the hypothalamus is altered under high-fat diet. The aim of the present study is to search for the altered hypothalamic neuronal activity in C57BI/6J mice fed a high-fat diet for 15 weeks. Hypothalamic c-Fos-like immunoreactivity (FLI) and serum leptin were measured after mice were fed a high-fat diet for 15 weeks. Our results demonstrate that increased body weight and serum leptin are accompanied by an elevated neuronal c-Fos-like immunoreactivity in the lateral hypothalamus, the lateral part of the dorsomedial hypothalamic and perifornical nuclei of diet-induced obese mice. Fasting increases FLI neurons in the arcuate hypothalamic nucleus and decreases FLI neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area and dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus of both diet-induced obese and lean mice. The current data suggest that constantly activated status of these neurons in the hypothalamus may be responsible for differences in body weight and serum leptin between obese and lean mice.