Rictor/mTORC2 facilitates central regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis.
ABSTRACT: Insulin signaling in the central nervous system (CNS) regulates energy balance and peripheral glucose homeostasis. Rictor is a key regulatory/structural subunit of the mTORC2 complex and is required for hydrophobic motif site phosphorylation of Akt at serine 473. To examine the contribution of neuronal Rictor/mTORC2 signaling to CNS regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis, we utilized Cre-LoxP technology to generate mice lacking Rictor in all neurons, or in either POMC or AgRP expressing neurons. Rictor deletion in all neurons led to increased fat mass and adiposity, glucose intolerance and behavioral leptin resistance. Disrupting Rictor in POMC neurons also caused obesity and hyperphagia, fasting hyperglycemia and pronounced glucose intolerance. AgRP neuron specific deletion did not impact energy balance but led to mild glucose intolerance. Collectively, we show that Rictor/mTORC2 signaling, especially in POMC-expressing neurons, is important for central regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis.
Project description:Hypothalamic ribosomal S6K1 has been suggested as a point of convergence for hormonal and nutrient signals in the regulation of feeding behavior, bodyweight, and glucose metabolism. However, the long-term effects of manipulating hypothalamic S6K1 signaling on energy homeostasis and the cellular mechanisms underlying these roles are unclear. We therefore inactivated S6K1 in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons, key regulators of energy homeostasis, but in contrast to the current view, we found no evidence that S6K1 regulates food intake and bodyweight. In contrast, S6K1 signaling in POMC neurons regulated hepatic glucose production and peripheral lipid metabolism and modulated neuronal excitability. S6K1 signaling in AgRP neurons regulated skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity and was required for glucose sensing by these neurons. Our findings suggest that S6K1 signaling is not a general integrator of energy homeostasis in the mediobasal hypothalamus but has distinct roles in the regulation of glucose homeostasis by POMC and AgRP neurons.
Project description:Effectors of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signal transduction pathway contribute to the hypothalamic regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis in divergent ways. Here we show that central nervous system (CNS) action of the PI3K signaling intermediate atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) constrains food intake, weight gain, and glucose intolerance in both rats and mice. Pharmacological inhibition of CNS aPKC activity acutely increases food intake and worsens glucose tolerance in chow-fed rodents and causes excess weight gain during high-fat diet (HFD) feeding. Similarly, selective deletion of the aPKC isoform Pkc-? in proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons disrupts leptin action, reduces melanocortin content in the paraventricular nucleus, and markedly increases susceptibility to obesity, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance specifically in HFD-fed male mice. These data implicate aPKC as a novel regulator of energy and glucose homeostasis downstream of the leptin-PI3K pathway in POMC neurons.
Project description:Hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been suggested to act as a key sensing mechanism, responding to hormones and nutrients in the regulation of energy homeostasis. However, the precise neuronal populations and cellular mechanisms involved are unclear. The effects of long-term manipulation of hypothalamic AMPK on energy balance are also unknown. To directly address such issues, we generated POMC alpha 2KO and AgRP alpha 2KO mice lacking AMPK alpha2 in proopiomelanocortin- (POMC-) and agouti-related protein-expressing (AgRP-expressing) neurons, key regulators of energy homeostasis. POMC alpha 2KO mice developed obesity due to reduced energy expenditure and dysregulated food intake but remained sensitive to leptin. In contrast, AgRP alpha 2KO mice developed an age-dependent lean phenotype with increased sensitivity to a melanocortin agonist. Electrophysiological studies in AMPK alpha2-deficient POMC or AgRP neurons revealed normal leptin or insulin action but absent responses to alterations in extracellular glucose levels, showing that glucose-sensing signaling mechanisms in these neurons are distinct from those pathways utilized by leptin or insulin. Taken together with the divergent phenotypes of POMC alpha 2KO and AgRP alpha 2KO mice, our findings suggest that while AMPK plays a key role in hypothalamic function, it does not act as a general sensor and integrator of energy homeostasis in the mediobasal hypothalamus.
Project description:The gut-brain axis plays a key role in the control of energy balance and glucose homeostasis. In response to luminal stimulation of macronutrients and microbiota-derived metabolites (secondary bile acids and short chain fatty acids), glucagon-like peptides (GLP-1 and -2) are cosecreted from endocrine L cells in the gut and coreleased from preproglucagonergic neurons in the brain stem. Glucagon-like peptides are proposed as key mediators for bariatric surgery-improved glycemic control and energy balance. Little is known about the GLP-2 receptor (Glp2r)-mediated physiological roles in the control of food intake and glucose homeostasis, yet Glp1r has been studied extensively. This review will highlight the physiological relevance of the central nervous system (CNS) Glp2r in the control of energy balance and glucose homeostasis and focuses on cellular mechanisms underlying the CNS Glp2r-mediated neural circuitry and intracellular PI3K signaling pathway. New evidence (obtained from Glp2r tissue-specific KO mice) indicates that the Glp2r in POMC neurons is essential for suppressing feeding behavior, gastrointestinal motility, and hepatic glucose production. Mice with Glp2r deletion selectively in POMC neurons exhibit hyperphagic behavior, accelerated gastric emptying, glucose intolerance, and hepatic insulin resistance. GLP-2 differentially modulates postsynaptic membrane excitability of hypothalamic POMC neurons in Glp2r- and PI3K-dependent manners. GLP-2 activates the PI3K-Akt-FoxO1 signaling pathway in POMC neurons by Glp2r-p85? interaction. Intracerebroventricular GLP-2 augments glucose tolerance, suppresses glucose production, and enhances insulin sensitivity, which require PI3K (p110?) activation in POMC neurons. Thus, the CNS Glp2r plays a physiological role in the control of food intake and glucose homeostasis. This review will also discuss key questions for future studies.
Project description:The sites of insulin action in the central nervous system that regulate glucose metabolism and energy expenditure are incompletely characterized. We have shown that mice with hypothalamic deficiency (L1) of insulin receptors (InsRs) fail to regulate hepatic glucose production (HGP) in response to insulin.To distinguish neurons that mediate insulin's effects on HGP from those that regulate energy homeostasis, we used targeted knock-ins to express InsRs in agouti-related protein (AgRP) or proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons of L1 mice.Restoration of insulin action in AgRP neurons normalized insulin suppression of HGP. Surprisingly, POMC-specific InsR knock-in increased energy expenditure and locomotor activity, exacerbated insulin resistance and increased HGP, associated with decreased expression of the ATP-sensitive K(+) channel (K(ATP) channel) sulfonylurea receptor 1 subunit, and decreased inhibitory synaptic contacts on POMC neurons.The contrasting phenotypes of InsR knock-ins in POMC and AgRP neurons suggest a branched-pathway model of hypothalamic insulin signaling in which InsR signaling in AgRP neurons decreases HGP, whereas InsR activation in POMC neurons promotes HGP and activates the melanocortinergic energy expenditure program.
Project description:Two known types of leptin-responsive neurons reside within the arcuate nucleus: the agouti gene-related peptide (AgRP)/neuropeptide Y (NPY) neuron and the proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neuron. By deleting the leptin receptor gene (Lepr) specifically in AgRP/NPY and/or POMC neurons of mice, we examined the several and combined contributions of these neurons to leptin action. Body weight and adiposity were increased by Lepr deletion from AgRP and POMC neurons individually, and simultaneous deletion in both neurons (A+P LEPR-KO mice) further increased these measures. Young (periweaning) A+P LEPR-KO mice exhibit hyperphagia and decreased energy expenditure, with increased weight gain, oxidative sparing of triglycerides, and increased fat accumulation. Interestingly, however, many of these abnormalities were attenuated in adult animals, and high doses of leptin partially suppress food intake in the A+P LEPR-KO mice. Although mildly hyperinsulinemic, the A+P LEPR-KO mice displayed normal glucose tolerance and fertility. Thus, AgRP/NPY and POMC neurons each play mandatory roles in aspects of leptin-regulated energy homeostasis, high leptin levels in adult mice mitigate the importance of leptin-responsiveness in these neurons for components of energy balance, suggesting the presence of other leptin-regulated pathways that partially compensate for the lack of leptin action on the POMC and AgRP/NPY neurons.
Project description:Glucagon-like peptides (GLP-1/GLP-2) are coproduced and highlighted as key modulators to improve glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity after bariatric surgery. However, it is unknown if CNS GLP-2 plays any physiological role in the control of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. We show that mice lacking GLP-2 receptor (GLP-2R) in POMC neurons display glucose intolerance and hepatic insulin resistance. GLP-2R activation in POMC neurons is required for GLP-2 to enhance insulin-mediated suppression of hepatic glucose production (HGP) and gluconeogenesis. GLP-2 directly modulates excitability of POMC neurons in GLP-2R- and PI3K-dependent manners. GLP-2 initiates GLP-2R-p85? interaction and facilitates PI3K-Akt-dependent FoxO1 nuclear exclusion in POMC neurons. Central GLP-2 suppresses basal HGP and enhances insulin sensitivity, which are abolished in POMC-p110? KO mice. Thus, CNS GLP-2 plays a key physiological role in the control of HGP through activating PI3K-dependent modulation of membrane excitability and nuclear transcription of POMC neurons in the brain.
Project description:AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling acts as a sensor of nutrients and hormones in the hypothalamus, thereby regulating whole-body energy homeostasis. Deletion of Ampk?2 in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons causes obesity and defective neuronal glucose sensing. LKB1, the Peutz-Jeghers syndrome gene product, and Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase ? (CaMKK?) are key upstream activators of AMPK. This study aimed to determine their role in POMC neurons upon energy and glucose homeostasis regulation.Mice lacking either Camkk? or Lkb1 in POMC neurons were generated, and physiological, electrophysiological, and molecular biology studies were performed.Deletion of Camkk? in POMC neurons does not alter energy homeostasis or glucose metabolism. In contrast, female mice lacking Lkb1 in POMC neurons (PomcLkb1KO) display glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, impaired suppression of hepatic glucose production, and altered expression of hepatic metabolic genes. The underlying cellular defect in PomcLkb1KO mice involves a reduction in melanocortin tone caused by decreased ?-melanocyte-stimulating hormone secretion. However, Lkb1-deficient POMC neurons showed normal glucose sensing, and body weight was unchanged in PomcLkb1KO mice.Our findings demonstrate that LKB1 in hypothalamic POMC neurons plays a key role in the central regulation of peripheral glucose metabolism but not body-weight control. This phenotype contrasts with that seen in mice lacking AMPK in POMC neurons with defects in body-weight regulation but not glucose homeostasis, which suggests that LKB1 plays additional functions distinct from activating AMPK in POMC neurons.
Project description:Kisspeptin (Kiss1) neurons are essential for reproduction, but their role in the control of energy balance and other homeostatic functions remains unclear. Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons, located in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus, integrate numerous excitatory and inhibitory inputs to ultimately regulate energy homeostasis. Given that POMC and AgRP neurons are contacted by Kiss1 neurons in the ARC (Kiss1(ARC)) and they express androgen receptors, Kiss1(ARC) neurons may mediate the orexigenic action of testosterone via POMC and/or AgRP neurons. Quantitative PCR analysis of pooled Kiss1(ARC) neurons revealed that mRNA levels for Kiss1 and vesicular glutamate transporter 2 were higher in castrated male mice compared with gonad-intact males. Single-cell RT-PCR analysis of yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) ARC neurons harvested from males injected with AAV1-EF1?-DIO-ChR2:YFP revealed that 100% and 88% expressed mRNAs for Kiss1 and vesicular glutamate transporter 2, respectively. Whole-cell, voltage-clamp recordings from nonfluorescent postsynaptic ARC neurons showed that low frequency photo-stimulation (0.5 Hz) of Kiss1-ChR2:YFP neurons elicited a fast glutamatergic inward current in POMC and AgRP neurons. Paired-pulse, photo-stimulation revealed paired-pulse depression, which is indicative of greater glutamate release, in the castrated male mice compared with gonad-intact male mice. Group I and group II metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists depolarized and hyperpolarized POMC and AgRP neurons, respectively, which was mimicked by high frequency photo-stimulation (20 Hz) of Kiss1(ARC) neurons. Therefore, POMC and AgRP neurons receive direct steroid- and frequency-dependent glutamatergic synaptic input from Kiss1(ARC) neurons in male mice, which may be a critical pathway for Kiss1 neurons to help coordinate energy homeostasis and reproduction.
Project description:Maternal metabolic homeostasis exerts long-term effects on the offspring's health outcomes. Here, we demonstrate that maternal high-fat diet (HFD) feeding during lactation predisposes the offspring for obesity and impaired glucose homeostasis in mice, which is associated with an impairment of the hypothalamic melanocortin circuitry. Whereas the number and neuropeptide expression of anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and orexigenic agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons, electrophysiological properties of POMC neurons, and posttranslational processing of POMC remain unaffected in response to maternal HFD feeding during lactation, the formation of POMC and AgRP projections to hypothalamic target sites is severely impaired. Abrogating insulin action in POMC neurons of the offspring prevents altered POMC projections to the preautonomic paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH), pancreatic parasympathetic innervation, and impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in response to maternal overnutrition. These experiments reveal a critical timing, when altered maternal metabolism disrupts metabolic homeostasis in the offspring via impairing neuronal projections, and show that abnormal insulin signaling contributes to this effect.