Prolyl carboxypeptidase in Agouti-related Peptide neurons modulates food intake and body weight.
ABSTRACT: Prolyl carboxypeptidase (PRCP) plays a role in the regulation of energy metabolism by inactivating hypothalamic ?-melanocyte stimulating hormone (?-MSH) levels. Although detected in the arcuate nucleus, limited PRCP expression has been observed in the arcuate POMC neurons, and its site of action in regulating metabolism is still ill-defined.We performed immunostaining to assess the localization of PRCP in arcuate Neuropeptide Y/Agouti-related Peptide (NPY/AgRP) neurons. Hypothalamic explants were then used to assess the intracellular localization of PRCP and its release at the synaptic levels. Finally, we generated a mouse model to assess the role of PRCP in NPY/AgRP neurons of the arcuate nucleus in the regulation of metabolism.Here we show that PRCP is expressed in NPY/AgRP-expressing neurons of the arcuate nucleus. In hypothalamic explants, stimulation by ghrelin increased PRCP concentration in the medium and decreased PRCP content in synaptic extract, suggesting that PRCP is released at the synaptic level. In support of this, hypothalamic explants from mice with selective deletion of PRCP in AgRP neurons (PrcpAgRPKO) showed reduced ghrelin-induced PRCP concentration in the medium compared to controls mice. Furthermore, male PrcpAgRPKO mice had decreased body weight and fat mass compared to controls. However, this phenotype was sex-specific as female PrcpAgRPKO mice show metabolic differences only when challenged by high fat diet feeding. The improved metabolism of PrcpAgRPKO mice was associated with reduced food intake and increased energy expenditure, locomotor activity, and hypothalamic ?-MSH levels. Administration of SHU9119, a potent melanocortin receptor antagonist, selectively in the PVN of PrcpAgRPKO male mice increased food intake to a level similar to that of control mice.Altogether, our data indicate that PRCP is released at the synaptic levels and that PRCP in AgRP neurons contributes to the modulation of ?-MSH degradation and related metabolic control in mice.
Project description:The gut-derived hormone ghrelin exerts its effect on the brain by regulating neuronal activity. Ghrelin-induced feeding behaviour is controlled by arcuate nucleus neurons that co-express neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein (NPY/AgRP neurons). However, the intracellular mechanisms triggered by ghrelin to alter NPY/AgRP neuronal activity are poorly understood. Here we show that ghrelin initiates robust changes in hypothalamic mitochondrial respiration in mice that are dependent on uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2). Activation of this mitochondrial mechanism is critical for ghrelin-induced mitochondrial proliferation and electric activation of NPY/AgRP neurons, for ghrelin-triggered synaptic plasticity of pro-opiomelanocortin-expressing neurons, and for ghrelin-induced food intake. The UCP2-dependent action of ghrelin on NPY/AgRP neurons is driven by a hypothalamic fatty acid oxidation pathway involving AMPK, CPT1 and free radicals that are scavenged by UCP2. These results reveal a signalling modality connecting mitochondria-mediated effects of G-protein-coupled receptors on neuronal function and associated behaviour.
Project description:Amylin phosphorylates ERK (p-ERK) in the area postrema to reduce eating and synergizes with leptin to phosphorylate STAT3 in the arcuate (ARC) and ventromedial (VMN) hypothalamic nuclei to reduce food intake and body weight. The current studies assessed potential amylin and amylin-leptin ARC/VMN interactions on ERK signaling and their roles in postnatal hypothalamic pathway development. In amylin knockout mice, the density of agouti-related protein (AgRP)-immunoreactive (IR) fibers in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) was increased, while the density of ?-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (?MSH) fibers was decreased. In mice deficient of the amylin receptor components RAMP1/3, both AgRP and ?MSH-IR fiber densities were decreased, while only ?MSH-IR fiber density was decreased in rats injected neonatally in the ARC/VMN with an adeno-associated virus short hairpin RNA against the amylin core receptor. Amylin induced p-ERK in ARC neurons, 60% of which was present in POMC-expressing neurons, with none in NPY neurons. An amylin-leptin interaction was shown by an additive effect on ARC ERK signaling in neonatal rats and a 44% decrease in amylin-induced p-ERK in the ARC of leptin receptor-deficient and of ob/ob mice. Together, these results suggest that amylin directly acts, through a p-ERK-mediated process, on POMC neurons to enhance ARC-PVN ?MSH pathway development.
Project description:Leptin acts via neuronal leptin receptors to control energy balance. Hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP)/Neuropeptide Y (NPY)/GABA neurons produce anorexigenic and orexigenic neuropeptides and neurotransmitters, and express the long signaling form of the leptin receptor (LepRb). Despite progress in the understanding of LepRb signaling and function, the sub-cellular localization of LepRb in target neurons has not been determined, primarily due to lack of sensitive anti-LepRb antibodies. Here we applied light microscopy (LM), confocal-laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and electron microscopy (EM) to investigate LepRb localization and signaling in mice expressing a HA-tagged LepRb selectively in POMC or AgRP/NPY/GABA neurons. We report that LepRb receptors exhibit a somato-dendritic expression pattern. We further show that LepRb activates STAT3 phosphorylation in neuronal fibers within several hypothalamic and hindbrain nuclei of wild-type mice and rats, and specifically in dendrites of arcuate POMC and AgRP/NPY/GABA neurons of Leprb (+/+) mice and in Leprb (db/db) mice expressing HA-LepRb in a neuron specific manner. We did not find evidence of LepRb localization or STAT3-signaling in axon-fibers or nerve-terminals of POMC and AgRP/NPY/GABA neurons. Three-dimensional serial EM-reconstruction of dendritic segments from POMC and AgRP/NPY/GABA neurons indicates a high density of shaft synapses. In addition, we found that the leptin activates STAT3 signaling in proximity to synapses on POMC and AgRP/NPY/GABA dendritic shafts. Taken together, these data suggest that the signaling-form of the leptin receptor exhibits a somato-dendritic expression pattern in POMC and AgRP/NPY/GABA neurons. Dendritic LepRb signaling may therefore play an important role in leptin's central effects on energy balance, possibly through modulation of synaptic activity via post-synaptic mechanisms.
Project description:Selectively bred diet-induced obese (DIO) rats become obese on a high-fat diet and are leptin resistant before becoming obese. Compared with diet-resistant (DR) neonates, DIO neonates have impaired leptin-dependent arcuate (ARC) neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) and ?-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (?-MSH; from proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons) axon outgrowth to the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Using phosphorylation of STAT3 (pSTAT3) as a surrogate, we show that reduced DIO ARC leptin signaling develops by postnatal day 7 (P7) and is reduced within POMC but not NPY/AgRP neurons. Since amylin increases leptin signaling in adult rats, we treated DIO neonates with amylin during postnatal hypothalamic development and assessed leptin signaling, leptin-dependent ARC-PVN pathway development, and metabolic changes. DIO neonates treated with amylin from P0-6 and from P0-16 increased ARC leptin signaling and both AgRP and ?-MSH ARC-PVN pathway development, but increased only POMC neuron number. Despite ARC-PVN pathway correction, P0-16 amylin-induced reductions in body weight did not persist beyond treatment cessation. Since amylin enhances adult DIO ARC signaling via an IL-6-dependent mechanism, we assessed ARC-PVN pathway competency in IL-6 knockout mice and found that the AgRP, but not the ?-MSH, ARC-PVN pathway was reduced. These results suggest that both leptin and amylin are important neurotrophic factors for the postnatal development of the ARC-PVN pathway. Amylin might act as a direct neurotrophic factor in DIO rats to enhance both the number of POMC neurons and their ?-MSH ARC-PVN pathway development. This suggests important and selective roles for amylin during ARC hypothalamic development.
Project description:The neuropeptides tachykinin2 (Tac2) and kisspeptin (Kiss1) in hypothalamic arcuate nucleus Kiss1 (Kiss1ARH) neurons are essential for pulsatile release of GnRH and reproduction. Since 17?-estradiol (E2) decreases Kiss1 and Tac2 mRNA expression in Kiss1ARH neurons, the role of Kiss1ARH neurons during E2-driven anorexigenic states and their coordination of POMC and NPY/AgRP feeding circuits have been largely ignored. Presently, we show that E2 augmented the excitability of Kiss1ARH neurons by amplifying Cacna1g, Hcn1 and Hcn2 mRNA expression and T-type calcium and h-currents. E2 increased Slc17a6 mRNA expression and glutamatergic synaptic input to arcuate neurons, which excited POMC and inhibited NPY/AgRP neurons via metabotropic receptors. Deleting Slc17a6 in Kiss1 neurons eliminated glutamate release and led to conditioned place preference for sucrose in E2-treated KO female mice. Therefore, the E2-driven increase in Kiss1 neuronal excitability and glutamate neurotransmission may play a key role in governing the motivational drive for palatable food in females.
Project description:Signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat)-3 signals mediate many of the metabolic effects of the fat cell-derived hormone, leptin. In mice, brain-specific depletion of either the long form of the leptin receptor (Lepr) or Stat3 results in comparable obese phenotypes as does replacement of Lepr with an altered leptin receptor locus that codes for a Lepr unable to interact with Stat3. Among the multiple brain regions containing leptin-sensitive Stat3 sites, cells expressing feeding-related neuropeptides in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus have received much of the focus. To determine the contribution to energy homeostasis of Stat3 expressed in agouti-related protein (Agrp)/neuropeptide Y (Npy) arcuate neurons, Stat3 was deleted specifically from these cells, and several metabolic indices were measured. It was found that deletion of Stat3 from Agrp/Npy neurons resulted in modest weight gain that was accounted for by increased adiposity. Agrp/Stat3-deficient mice also showed hyperleptinemia, and high-fat diet-induced hyperinsulinemia. Stat3 deletion in Agrp/Npy neurons also resulted in altered hypothalamic gene expression indicated by increased Npy mRNA and decreased induction of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 in response to leptin. Agrp mRNA levels in the fed or fasted state were unaffected. Behaviorally, mice without Stat3 in Agrp/Npy neurons were mildly hyperphagic and hyporesponsive to leptin. We conclude that Stat3 in Agrp/Npy neurons is required for normal energy homeostasis, but Stat3 signaling in other brain areas also contributes to the regulation of energy homeostasis.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist, liraglutide, stimulates insulin secretion and efficiently suppresses food intake to reduce body weight. As such, liraglutide is growing in popularity in the treatment of diabetes and chronic weight management. Within the brain, liraglutide has been shown to alter the activity of hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and Neuropeptide Y/Agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) neurons. Moreover, the acute activities of POMC and NPY neurons have been directly linked to feeding behavior, body weight, and glucose metabolism. Despite the increased usage of liraglutide and other GLP-1 analogues as diabetic and obesity interventions, the cellular mechanisms by which liraglutide alters the activity of metabolically relevant neuronal populations are poorly understood. METHODS:In order to resolve this issue, we utilized neuron-specific transgenic mouse models to identify POMC and NPY neurons for patch-clamp electrophysiology experiments. RESULTS:We found that liraglutide directly activated arcuate POMC neurons via TrpC5 channels, sharing a similar mechanistic pathway to the adipose-derived peptide leptin. Liraglutide also indirectly increases excitatory tone to POMC neurons. In contrast, liraglutide inhibited NPY/AgRP neurons through post-synaptic GABAA receptors and enhanced activity of pre-synaptic GABAergic neurons, which required both TrpC5 subunits and K-ATP channels. In support of an additive role of leptin and liraglutide in suppressing food intake, leptin potentiated the acute effects of liraglutide to activate POMC neurons. TrpC5 subunits in POMC neurons were also required for the intact pharmacological effects of liraglutide on food intake and body weight. Thus, the current study adds to recent work from our group and others, which highlight potential mechanisms to amplify the effects of GLP-1 agonists in vivo. Moreover, these data highlight multiple sites of action (both pre- and post-synaptic) for GLP-1 agonists on this circuit. CONCLUSIONS:Taken together, our results identify critical molecular mechanisms linking GLP-1 analogues in arcuate POMC and NPY/AgRP neurons with metabolism.
Project description:The hypothalamic arcuate nucleus contains multiple types of neurons controlling critical physiological processes. However, the gene regulatory network directing their development remains rudimentary. Here we report that two transcription factors Otp and Dlx1 segregate the identity of orexigenic/anti-thermogenic NPY/AgRP- and growth-promoting GHRH-neurons in the developing arcuate nucleus. Otp-null and Dlx1-null mice lose NPY/AgRP and GHRH expression, respectively. Dlx1-null mice also show enhanced expression of Otp/NPY/AgRP, which is normalized in Dlx1;Otp-double mutant mice. Correspondingly, Dlx1-null mice exhibit decreased growth, lower body temperature and increased feeding. Furthermore, our genome-wide studies identify Otp as a negative target gene of Dlx1. Therefore, Otp is critical for NPY/AgRP-neuronal development, while Dlx1 promotes GHRH-neuronal development and antagonizes NPY/AgRP-neuronal development. These results identify a mechanism for segregating the identity of two functionally related neurons, and the Dlx1-Otp axis likely contributes to coordinating energy balance and growth by maintaining a proper ratio of NPY/AgRP- to GHRH-neurons. Overall design: Chip-seq samples from wild-type hypothalamus were prepared for sequencing according to the Illumina protocol, and sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq 2500. We will then identified that Dlx1 could bind and regulate the gene transcription in hypothalamus development.
Project description:The regulated release of anorexigenic ?-melanocyte stimulating hormone (?-MSH) and orexigenic Agouti-related protein (AgRP) from discrete hypothalamic arcuate neurons onto common target sites in the central nervous system has a fundamental role in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Both peptides bind with high affinity to the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R); existing data show that ?-MSH is an agonist that couples the receptor to the G?s signalling pathway, while AgRP binds competitively to block ?-MSH binding and blocks the constitutive activity mediated by the ligand-mimetic amino-terminal domain of the receptor. Here we show that, in mice, regulation of firing activity of neurons from the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) by ?-MSH and AgRP can be mediated independently of G?s signalling by ligand-induced coupling of MC4R to closure of inwardly rectifying potassium channel, Kir7.1. Furthermore, AgRP is a biased agonist that hyperpolarizes neurons by binding to MC4R and opening Kir7.1, independently of its inhibition of ?-MSH binding. Consequently, Kir7.1 signalling appears to be central to melanocortin-mediated regulation of energy homeostasis within the PVN. Coupling of MC4R to Kir7.1 may explain unusual aspects of the control of energy homeostasis by melanocortin signalling, including the gene dosage effect of MC4R and the sustained effects of AgRP on food intake.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Hypothalamic Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and Neuropeptide Y/Agouti-Related Peptide (NPY/AgRP) neurons are critical nodes of a circuit within the brain that sense key metabolic cues as well as regulate metabolism. Importantly, these neurons retain an innate ability to rapidly reorganize synaptic inputs and electrophysiological properties in response to metabolic state. While the cellular properties of these neurons have been investigated in the context of obesity, much less is known about the effects of exercise training.<h4>Methods</h4>In order to further investigate this issue, we utilized neuron-specific transgenic mouse models to identify POMC and NPY/AgRP neurons for patch-clamp electrophysiology experiments.<h4>Results</h4>Using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology, we found exercise depolarized and increased firing rate of arcuate POMC neurons. The increased excitability of POMC neurons was concomitant with increased excitatory inputs to these neurons. In agreement with recent work suggesting leptin plays an important role in the synaptic (re)organization of POMC neurons, POMC neurons which express leptin receptors were more sensitive to exercise-induced changes in biophysical properties. Opposite to effects observed in POMC neurons, NPY neurons were shunted toward inhibition following exercise.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Together, these data support a rapid reorganization of synaptic inputs and biophysical properties in response to exercise, which may facilitate adaptations to altered energy balance and glucose metabolism.