Estrogenic-dependent glutamatergic neurotransmission from kisspeptin neurons governs feeding circuits in females.
ABSTRACT: 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:Energy balance is regulated by anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and orexigenic neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) neurons of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus. POMC neurons make extensive projections and are thought to release both amino acid and peptide neurotransmitters. However, whether they communicate directly with NPY/AgRP neurons is debated. Initially, using single-cell RT-PCR, we determined that mouse POMCeGFP neurons express Slc17a6 (Vglut2) and Slc18a2 (Vmat2), but not Slc31a1 (Vgat) mRNA, suggesting glutamate and non-canonical GABA release. Quantitative (q)RT-PCR of POMCeGFP cells revealed that Vglut2 and Vmat2 expression was significantly increased in E2- versus oil-treated, ovariectomized (OVX) female mice. Since 17?-estradiol (E2) is anorexigenic, we hypothesized that an underlying mechanism is enhancement of POMC signaling. Therefore, we optogenetically stimulated POMC neurons in hypothalamic slices to examine evoked release of neurotransmitters onto NPY/AgRP neurons. Using brief light pulses, we primarily observed glutamatergic currents and, based on the paired pulse ratio (PPR), determined that release probability was higher in E2- versus oil-treated, OVX female, congruent with increased Vlgut2 expression. Moreover, bath perfusion of the Gq-coupled membrane estrogen receptor (ER) agonist STX recapitulated the effects of E2 treatment. In addition, high-frequency (20 Hz) stimulation generated a slow outward current that reversed near Ek+ and was antagonized by naloxone, indicative of ?-endorphin release. Furthermore, individual NPY/AgRP neurons were found to express Oprm1, the transcript for ?-opioid receptor, and DAMGO, a selective agonist, elicited an outward current. Therefore, POMC excitability and neurotransmission are enhanced by E2, which would facilitate decreased food consumption through marked inhibition of NPY/AgRP neurons.
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:Arcuate neurons that coexpress kisspeptin (Kiss1), neurokinin B (Tac2), and dynorphin (Pdyn) mediate negative feedback of 17?-estradiol (E2) on the HPG axis. Previous studies report that fasting and caloric restriction reduce arcuate Kiss1 expression. The objective of this study was to determine the interactions of E2 with fasting, caloric restriction, and diet-induced obesity on KNDy gene and receptor expression. Ovariectomized female mice were separated into control and estradiol benzoate (E2B)-treated groups. E2B decreased Kiss1 and the tachykinin 2 receptor, Tac3r, in ARC tissue and Tac2 in Tac2 neurons. Diet-induced obesity decreased Kiss1 in oil-treated animals and the kisspeptin receptor, Kiss1r and Tac3r in the ARC of E2B-treated animals. Chronic caloric (30%) restriction reduced all three neuropeptides in oil-treated females and Kiss1r by E2B in CR animals. Taken together, our experiments suggest that steroidal environment and energy state negatively regulate KNDy gene expression in both ARC and Tac2 neurons.
Project description:Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons within the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus are vital anorexigenic neurons. Although both the leptin and insulin receptors are coupled to the activation of phosphatidylinositide 3 kinase (PI3K) in POMC neurons, they are thought to have disparate actions on POMC excitability. Using whole-cell recording and selective pharmacological tools, we have found that, similar to leptin, purified insulin depolarized POMC and adjacent kisspeptin neurons via activation of TRPC5 channels, which are highly expressed in these neurons. In contrast, insulin hyperpolarized and inhibited NPY/AgRP neurons via activation of KATP channels. Moreover, Zn(2+), which is found in insulin formulations at nanomolar concentrations, inhibited POMC neurons via activation of KATP channels. Finally, as predicted, insulin given intracerebroventrically robustly inhibited food intake and activated c-fos expression in arcuate POMC neurons. Our results show that purified insulin excites POMC neurons in the arcuate nucleus, which we propose is a major mechanism by which insulin regulates energy homeostasis.
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:<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.
Project description:Adiponectin receptors (AdipoRs) are located on neurons of the hypothalamus involved in metabolic regulation - including arcuate proopiomelanocortin (Pomc) and Neuropeptide Y/Agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) neurons. AdipoRs play a critical role in regulating glucose and fatty acid metabolism by initiating several signaling cascades overlapping with Leptin receptors (LepRs). However, the mechanism by which adiponectin regulates cellular activity in the brain remains undefined.In order to resolve this issue, we utilized neuron-specific transgenic mouse models to identify Pomc and NPY/AgRP neurons which express LepRs for patch-clamp electrophysiology experiments.We found that leptin and adiponectin synergistically activated melanocortin neurons in the arcuate nucleus. Conversely, NPY/AgRP neurons were inhibited in response to adiponectin. The adiponectin-induced depolarization of arcuate Pomc neurons occurred via activation of Phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling, independent of 5' AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity. Adiponectin also activated melanocortin neurons at various physiological glucose levels.Our results demonstrate a requirement for PI3K signaling in the acute adiponectin-induced effects on the cellular activity of arcuate melanocortin neurons. Moreover, these data provide evidence for PI3K as a substrate for both leptin and adiponectin to regulate energy balance and glucose metabolism via melanocortin activity.
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: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:Despite their opposing actions on food intake, POMC and NPY/AgRP neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARH) are derived from the same progenitors that give rise to ARH neurons. However, the mechanism whereby common neuronal precursors subsequently adopt either the anorexigenic (POMC) or the orexigenic (NPY/AgRP) identity remains elusive. We hypothesize that POMC and NPY/AgRP cell fates are specified and maintained by distinct intrinsic factors. In search of them, we profiled the transcriptomes of developing POMC and NPY/AgRP neurons in mice. Moreover, cell-type-specific transcriptomic analyses revealed transcription regulators that are selectively enriched in either population, but whose developmental functions are unknown in these neurons. Among them, we found the expression of the PR domain-containing factor 12 (Prdm12) was enriched in POMC neurons but absent in NPY/AgRP neurons. To study the role of Prdm12 in vivo, we developed and characterized a floxed Prdm12 allele. Selective ablation of Prdm12 in embryonic POMC neurons led to significantly reduced Pomc expression as well as early-onset obesity in mice of either sex that recapitulates symptoms of human POMC deficiency. Interestingly, however, specific deletion of Prdm12 in adult POMC neurons showed that it is no longer required for Pomc expression or energy balance. Collectively, these findings establish a critical role for Prdm12 in the anorexigenic neuron identity and suggest that it acts developmentally to program body weight homeostasis. Finally, the combination of cell-type-specific genomic and genetic analyses provides a means to dissect cellular and functional diversity in the hypothalamus whose neurodevelopment remains poorly studied.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT POMC and NPY/AgRP neurons are derived from the same hypothalamic progenitors but have opposing effects on food intake. We profiled the transcriptomes of genetically labeled POMC and NPY/AgRP neurons in the developing mouse hypothalamus to decipher the transcriptional codes behind the versus orexigenic neuron identity. Our analyses revealed 29 transcription regulators that are selectively enriched in one of the two populations. We generated new mouse genetic models to selective ablate one of POMC-neuron enriched transcription factors Prdm12 in developing and adult POMC neurons. Our studies establish a previously unrecognized role for Prdm12 in the anorexigenic neuron identity and suggest that it acts developmentally to program body weight homeostasis.