Differential gene expression between neuropeptide Y expressing neurons of the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and the arcuate nucleus: microarray analysis study.
ABSTRACT: The Dorsomedial Nucleus of the Hypothalamus (DMH) is known to play important roles in ingestive behavior and body weight homeostasis. The DMH contains neurons expressing Neuropeptide Y (NPY) during specific physiological conditions of hyperphagia and obesity, however, the role of DMH-NPY neurons has yet to be characterized. In contrast to the DMH-NPY neurons, NPY expressing neurons have been best characterized in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Hypothalamus (ARH). The purpose of this study is to characterize the chemical phenotype of DMH-NPY neurons by comparing the gene expression profiles of NPY neurons in the DMH and ARH isolated from postnatal NPY-hrGFP mice by microarray analysis. Twenty genes were differentially expressed in the DMH-NPY neurons compared to the ARH. Among them, there were several transcriptional factors that play important roles in the regulation of energy balance. DMH-NPY neurons expressed Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase (GAD) 65 and 67, suggesting that they may be GABAergic, similar to ARH-NPY neurons. While ARH-NPY neurons expressed leptin receptor (ObRb) and displayed the activation of STAT3 in response to leptin administration, DMH-NPY neurons showed neither. These findings strongly suggest that DMH-NPY neurons could play a distinct role in the control of energy homeostasis and are differentially regulated from ARH-NPY neurons through afferent inputs and transcriptional regulators.
Project description:Negative energy balance during lactation is reflected by low levels of insulin and leptin and is associated with chronic hyperphagia and suppressed GnRH/LH activity. We studied whether restoration of insulin and/or leptin to physiological levels would reverse the lactation-associated hyperphagia, changes in hypothalamic neuropeptide expression [increased neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AGRP) and decreased proopiomelanocortin (POMC), kisspeptin (Kiss1), and neurokinin B (NKB)] and suppression of LH. Ovariectomized lactating rats (eight pups) were treated for 48 h with sc minipumps containing saline, human insulin, or rat leptin. The arcuate nucleus (ARH) was analyzed for NPY, AGRP, POMC, Kiss1, and NKB mRNA expression; the dorsal medial hypothalamus (DMH) was analyzed for NPY mRNA. Insulin replacement reversed the increase in ARH NPY/AGRP mRNAs, partially recovered POMC, but had no effect on recovering Kiss1/NKB. Leptin replacement only affected POMC, which was fully recovered. Insulin/leptin dual replacement had similar effects as insulin replacement alone but with a slight increase in Kiss1/NKB. The lactation-induced increase in DMH NPY was unchanged after treatments. Restoration of insulin and/or leptin had no effect on food intake, body weight, serum glucose or serum LH. These results suggest that the negative energy balance of lactation is not required for the hyperphagic drive, although it is involved in the orexigenic changes in the ARH. The chronic hyperphagia of lactation is most likely sustained by the induction of NPY in the DMH. The negative energy balance also does not appear to be a necessary prerequisite for the suppression of GnRH/LH activity.
Project description:Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a potent regulator of neuronal development, and the Bdnf gene produces two populations of transcripts with either a short or long 3' untranslated region (3' UTR). Deficiencies in BDNF signaling have been shown to cause severe obesity in humans; however, it remains unknown how BDNF signaling impacts the organization of neuronal circuits that control energy balance.We examined the role of BDNF on survival, axonal projections, and synaptic inputs of neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARH), a structure critical for the control of energy balance, using Bdnf (klox/klox) mice, which lack long 3' UTR Bdnf mRNA and develop severe hyperphagic obesity.We found that a small fraction of neurons that express the receptor for BDNF, TrkB, also expressed proopiomelanocortin (POMC) or neuropeptide Y (NPY)/agouti-related protein (AgRP) in the ARH. Bdnf(klox/klox) mice had normal numbers of POMC, NPY, and TrkB neurons in the ARH; however, retrograde labeling revealed a drastic reduction in the number of ARH axons that project to the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) in these mice. In addition, fewer POMC and AgRP axons were found in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH) and the lateral part of PVH, respectively, in Bdnf (klox/klox) mice. Using immunohistochemistry, we examined the impact of BDNF deficiency on inputs to ARH neurons. We found that excitatory inputs onto POMC and NPY neurons were increased and decreased, respectively, in Bdnf (klox/klox) mice, likely due to a compensatory response to marked hyperphagia displayed by the mutant mice.This study shows that the majority of TrkB neurons in the ARH are distinct from known neuronal populations and that BDNF plays a critical role in directing projections from these neurons to the DMH and PVH. We propose that hyperphagic obesity due to BDNF deficiency is in part attributable to impaired axonal growth of TrkB-expressing ARH neurons.
Project description:Obesity increases sympathetic nerve activity (SNA) via activation of proopiomelanocortin neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ArcN), and this action requires simultaneous withdrawal of tonic neuropeptide Y (NPY) sympathoinhibition. However, the sites and neurocircuitry by which NPY decreases SNA are unclear. Here, using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) to selectively activate or inhibit ArcN NPY neurons expressing agouti-related peptide (AgRP) in mice, we have demonstrated that this neuronal population tonically suppresses splanchnic SNA (SSNA), arterial pressure, and heart rate via projections to the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). First, we found that ArcN NPY/AgRP fibers closely appose PVN and DMH presympathetic neurons. Second, nanoinjections of NPY or an NPY receptor Y1 (NPY1R) antagonist into PVN or DMH decreased or increased SSNA, respectively. Third, blockade of DMH NPY1R reversed the sympathoinhibition elicited by selective, DREADD-mediated activation of ArcN NPY/AgRP neurons. Finally, stimulation of ArcN NPY/AgRP terminal fields in the PVN and DMH decreased SSNA. Considering that chronic obesity decreases ArcN NPY content, we propose that the ArcN NPY neuropathway to the PVN and DMH is pivotal in obesity-induced elevations in SNA.
Project description:Melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) is critical for energy homeostasis, and the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) is a key site of MC4R action. Most studies suggest that leptin regulates PVN neurons indirectly, by binding to receptors in the arcuate nucleus or ventromedial hypothalamus and regulating release of products like ?-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (?-MSH), neuropeptide Y (NPY), glutamate, and GABA from first-order neurons onto the MC4R PVN cells. Here, we investigate mechanisms underlying regulation of activity of these neurons under various metabolic states by using hypothalamic slices from a transgenic MC4R-GFP mouse to record directly from MC4R neurons. First, we show that in vivo leptin levels regulate the tonic firing rate of second-order MC4R PVN neurons, with fasting increasing firing frequency in a leptin-dependent manner. We also show that, although leptin inhibits these neurons directly at the postsynaptic membrane, ?-MSH and NPY potently stimulate and inhibit the cells, respectively. Thus, in contrast with the conventional model of leptin action, the primary control of MC4R PVN neurons is unlikely to be mediated by leptin action on arcuate NPY/agouti-related protein and proopiomelanocortin neurons. We also show that the activity of MC4R PVN neurons is controlled by the constitutive activity of the MC4R and that expression of the receptor mRNA and ?-MSH sensitivity are both stimulated by leptin. Thus, leptin acts multinodally on arcuate nucleus/PVN circuits to regulate energy homeostasis, with prominent mechanisms involving direct control of both membrane conductances and gene expression in the MC4R PVN neuron.
Project description:The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) is one key structure controlling energy homeostasis. While it has been shown that the biogenic amines dopamine and serotonin modulate food intake controlling NPY/AgRP and/or POMC neurons in the ARH, the neural substrates that mediate the effect of noradrenaline (NA) on energy homeostasis remain elusive. By electrophysiological recordings and cell type-specific transcriptomics we show that the main neuronal populations in the ARH, NPY/AgRP and POMC neurons express a combination of excitatory and inhibitory adrenergic receptors (ARs). Surprisingly, NA had a clear differential effect on these neurons. Activation of NPY/AgRP neurons is mediated by _1A - and _- ARs, while POMC neurons are inhibited via _2A ARs. Collectively, our data indicate an orexigenic influence of NA on the ARH circuitry that controls energy balance Overall design: We have isolated NPY- and POMC-expressing neuronal populations by means of FACS-sorting green fluorescent protein expressed under the Npy or Pomc gene promoter, from the hypothalami of 6-week-old mice. We have extracted total RNA and prepared libraries from these samples, sequenced and identified differentially expressed genes between the two neuronal populations, in order to identify in an unbiased way, which and how agrenergic receptor genes are differentially expressed under these conditions.
Project description:Obesity is a chronic condition resulting from a long-term pattern of poor diet and lifestyle. Long-term consumption of high-fat diet (HFD) leads to persistent activation and leptin resistance in AgRP neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH). Here, for the first time, we demonstrate acute effects of HFD on AgRP neuronal excitability and highlight a critical role for diet composition. In parallel with our earlier finding in obese, long-term HFD mice, we found that even brief HFD feeding results in persistent activation of ARH AgRP neurons. However, unlike long-term HFD-fed mice, AgRP neurons from short-term HFD-fed mice were still leptin-sensitive, indicating that the development of leptin-insensitivity is not a prerequisite for the increased firing rate of AgRP neurons. To distinguish between diet composition, caloric intake, and body weight, we compared acute and long-term effects of HFD and CD in pair-fed mice on AgRP neuronal spiking. HFD consumption in pair-fed mice resulted in a significant increase in AgRP neuronal spiking despite controls for weight gain and caloric intake. Taken together, our results suggest that diet composition may be more important than either calorie intake or body weight for electrically remodeling arcuate AgRP/NPY neurons.
Project description:In the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) satiety signaling (anorexigenic) pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing and hunger signaling (orexigenic) agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons are key components of the neuronal circuits that control food intake and energy homeostasis. Here, we assessed whether the catecholamine noradrenalin directly modulates the activity of these neurons in mice. Perforated patch clamp recordings showed that noradrenalin changes the activity of these functionally antagonistic neurons in opposite ways, increasing the activity of the orexigenic NPY/AgRP neurons and decreasing the activity of the anorexigenic POMC neurons. Cell type-specific transcriptomics and pharmacological experiments revealed that the opposing effect on these neurons is mediated by the activation of excitatory ?1A - and ?- adrenergic receptors in NPY/AgRP neurons, while POMC neurons are inhibited via ?2A - adrenergic receptors. Thus, the coordinated differential modulation of the key hypothalamic neurons in control of energy homeostasis assigns noradrenalin an important role to promote feeding.
Project description:Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) neurons in the hindbrain densely innervate the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), a nucleus strongly implicated in body weight regulation and the sympathetic control of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. Therefore, DMH GLP-1 receptors (GLP-1R) are well placed to regulate energy balance by controlling sympathetic outflow and BAT function.We investigate this possibility in adult male rats by using direct administration of GLP-1 (0.5 ug) into the DMH, knocking down DMH GLP-1R mRNA with viral-mediated RNA interference, and by examining the neurochemical phenotype of GLP-1R expressing cells in the DMH using in situ hybridization.GLP-1 administered into the DMH increased BAT thermogenesis and hepatic triglyceride (TG) mobilization. On the other hand, Glp1r knockdown (KD) in the DMH increased body weight gain and adiposity, with a concomitant reduction in energy expenditure (EE), BAT temperature, and uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression. Moreover, DMH Glp1r KD induced hepatic steatosis, increased plasma TG, and elevated liver specific de-novo lipogenesis, effects that collectively contributed to insulin resistance. Interestingly, DMH Glp1r KD increased neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA expression in the DMH. GLP-1R mRNA in the DMH, however, was found in GABAergic not NPY neurons, consistent with a GLP-1R-dependent inhibition of NPY neurons that is mediated by local GABAergic neurons. Finally, DMH Glp1r KD attenuated the anorexigenic effects of the GLP-1R agonist exendin-4, highlighting an important role of DMH GLP-1R signaling in GLP-1-based therapies.Collectively, our data show that DMH GLP-1R signaling plays a key role for BAT thermogenesis and adiposity.
Project description:Previous reports have shown that the early postnatal environment has the ability to modify the obesity phenotype of Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats. To determine whether this early postnatal environment affects hypothalamic signaling systems involved in energy balance, OLETF pups and lean Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) pups were cross-fostered to same or opposite strain Dams (designated as LdLp: LETO pups with LETO dams; LdOp: OLETF pups with LETO dams; OdLp: LETO pups with OLETF dams; and OdOp: OLETF pups with OLETF dams). Hypothalamic gene expression was examined at postnatal day 23 (PND 23) and PND 90 as OdOp rats started to gain more body weight at PND 23 and developed obesity at PND 90 relative to lean control LdLp rats. On PND 23, neuropeptide Y (Npy) gene expression was significantly increased in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) in both LdOp and OdOp pups compared to LdLp pups. Maternal environment did not affect DMH Npy expression in LETO weanlings. On PND 90, maternal environment during the cross-fostering period had a major effect on DMH Npy expression. Levels were significantly increased in both OdOp and OdLp rats relative to those in LdOp rats and LdLp controls. Reduced expression of Npy in the DMH of LdOp rats was consistent with their reduction of body weight compared to OdOp rats. In contrast to DMH Npy, gene expression for Npy and proopiomelanocortin in the arcuate nucleus appeared to appropriately respond to alterations in body weight and plasma leptin levels. Levels of oxytocin gene expression in the paraventricular nucleus were lower in offspring raised by LETO dams apparently responding to the higher DMH NPY levels. Together, our results demonstrate effects of both genotype and early postnatal environment on obesity of OLETF rats and further suggest an important role of DMH NPY in the development of obesity of OLETF rats.
Project description:The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) is a key component of hypothalamic pathways regulating energy balance, and leptin is required for normal development of ARH projections. Diet-induced obesity (DIO) has a polygenic mode of inheritance, and DIO individuals develop the metabolic syndrome when a moderate amount of fat is added to the diet. Here we demonstrate that rats selectively bred to develop DIO, which are known to be leptin resistant before they become obese, have defective ARH projections that persist into adulthood. Furthermore, the ability of leptin to activate intracellular signaling in ARH neurons in vivo and to promote ARH neurite outgrowth in vitro is significantly reduced in DIO neonates. Thus, animals that are genetically predisposed toward obesity display an abnormal organization of hypothalamic pathways involved in energy homeostasis that may be the result of diminished responsiveness of ARH neurons to the trophic actions of leptin during postnatal development.