A Small Potassium Current in AgRP/NPY Neurons Regulates Feeding Behavior and Energy Metabolism.
ABSTRACT: Neurons that co-express agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) are indispensable for normal feeding behavior. Firing activities of AgRP/NPY neurons are dynamically regulated by energy status and coordinate appropriate feeding behavior to meet nutritional demands. However, intrinsic mechanisms that regulate AgRP/NPY neural activities during the fed-to-fasted transition are not fully understood. We found that AgRP/NPY neurons in satiated mice express high levels of the small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel 3 (SK3) and are inhibited by SK3-mediated potassium currents; on the other hand, food deprivation suppresses SK3 expression in AgRP/NPY neurons, and the decreased SK3-mediated currents contribute to fasting-induced activation of these neurons. Genetic mutation of SK3 specifically in AgRP/NPY neurons leads to increased sensitivity to diet-induced obesity, associated with chronic hyperphagia and decreased energy expenditure. Our results identify SK3 as a key intrinsic mediator that coordinates nutritional status with AgRP/NPY neural activities and animals' feeding behavior and energy metabolism.
Project description:Artificial stimulation of Agouti-Related Peptide (AgRP) neurons promotes intense food consumption, yet paradoxically during natural behavior these cells are inhibited before feeding begins. Previously, to reconcile these observations, we showed that brief stimulation of AgRP neurons can generate hunger that persists for tens of minutes, but the mechanisms underlying this sustained hunger drive remain unknown (Chen et al., 2016). Here we show that Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is uniquely required for the long-lasting effects of AgRP neurons on feeding behavior. We blocked the ability of AgRP neurons to signal through AgRP, NPY, or GABA, and then stimulated these cells using a paradigm that mimics their natural regulation. Deletion of NPY, but not AgRP or GABA, abolished optically-stimulated feeding, and this was rescued by NPY re-expression selectively in AgRP neurons. These findings reveal a unique role for NPY in sustaining hunger in the interval between food discovery and consumption.
Project description:Neuropeptide Y (NPY)/Agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus are part of a neuroendocrine feedback loop that regulates feeding behavior and glucose homeostasis. NPY/AgRP neurons sense peripheral signals (including the hormones leptin, insulin, and ghrelin) and integrate those signals with inputs from other brain regions. These inputs modify both long-term changes in gene transcription and acute changes in the electrical activity of these neurons, leading to a coordinated response to maintain energy and glucose homeostasis. However, the mechanisms by which the hormones insulin and leptin acutely modify the electrical activity of these neurons remain unclear. In this study, we show that loss of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase catalytic subunits p110? and p110? in AgRP neurons abrogates the leptin- and insulin-induced inhibition of AgRP neurons. Moreover, continual disruption of p110? and p110? in AgRP neurons results in increased weight gain. The increased adiposity was concomitant with a hypometabolic phenotype: decreased energy expenditure independent of changes in food intake. Deficiency of p110? and p110? in AgRP neurons also impaired glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. In summary, these data highlight the requirement of both p110? and p110? in AgRP neurons for the proper regulation of energy balance and glucose homeostasis.
Project description:Activation of Agouti-Related Peptide (AgRP)-expressing neurons promotes feeding and insulin resistance. Here, we examine the contribution of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-dependent signaling to the diverse physiological consequences of activating AgRP neurons. NPY-deficient mice fail to rapidly increase food intake during the first hour of either chemo- or optogenetic activation of AgRP neurons, while the delayed increase in feeding is comparable between control and NPY-deficient mice. Acutely stimulating AgRP neurons fails to induce systemic insulin resistance in NPY-deficient mice, while increased locomotor activity upon AgRP neuron stimulation in the absence of food remains unaffected in these animals. Selective re-expression of NPY in AgRP neurons attenuates the reduced feeding response and reverses the protection from insulin resistance upon optogenetic activation of AgRP neurons in NPY-deficient mice. Collectively, these experiments reveal a pivotal role of NPY-dependent signaling in mediating the rapid feeding inducing effect and the acute glucose regulatory function governed by AgRP neurons.
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:In female mammals including rodents and humans, feeding decreases during the periovulatory period of the ovarian cycle, which coincides with a surge in circulating estrogen levels. Ovariectomy increases food intake, which can be normalized by estrogen treatment at a dose and frequency mimicking those during the estrous cycle. Furthermore, administration of estrogen to rodents potently inhibits food intake. Despite these well-known effects of estrogen, neuronal subtypes that mediate estrogen's anorexigenic effects have not been identified. In this study, we show that changes in hypothalamic expression of agouti-related protein (Agrp) and neuropeptide Y (Npy) coincide with the cyclic changes in feeding across the estrous cycle. These cyclic changes in feeding are abolished in mice with degenerated AgRP neurons even though these mice cycle normally. Central administration of 17beta-estradiol (E2) decreases food intake in controls but not in mice lacking the AgRP neurons. Furthermore, E2 treatment suppresses fasting-induced c-Fos activation in AgRP and NPY neurons and blunts the refeeding response. Surprisingly, although estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) is the key mediator of estrogen's anorexigenic effects, we find that expression of ERalpha is completely excluded from AgRP and NPY neurons in the mouse hypothalamus, suggesting that estrogen may regulate these neurons indirectly via presynaptic neurons that express ERalpha. This study indicates that neurons coexpressing AgRP and NPY are functionally required for the cyclic changes in feeding across estrous cycle and that AgRP and NPY neurons are essential mediators of estrogen's anorexigenic function.
Project description:Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons of the hypothalamus release a fast transmitter (GABA) in addition to neuropeptides (neuropeptide Y [NPY] and Agouti-related peptide [AgRP]). This raises questions as to their respective functions. The acute activation of AgRP neurons robustly promotes food intake, while central injections of AgRP, NPY, or GABA agonist results in the marked escalation of food consumption with temporal variance. Given the orexigenic capability of all three of these neuroactive substances in conjunction with their coexpression in AgRP neurons, we looked to unravel their relative temporal role in driving food intake. After the acute stimulation of AgRP neurons with DREADD technology, we found that either GABA or NPY is required for the rapid stimulation of feeding, and the neuropeptide AgRP, through action on MC4 receptors, is sufficient to induce feeding over a delayed yet prolonged period. These studies help to elucidate the neurochemical mechanisms of AgRP neurons in controlling temporally distinct phases of eating.
Project description:Previous studies have proposed roles for hypothalamic reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the modulation of circuit activity of the melanocortin system. Here we show that suppression of ROS diminishes pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) cell activation and promotes the activity of neuropeptide Y (NPY)- and agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-co-producing (NPY/AgRP) neurons and feeding, whereas ROS-activates POMC neurons and reduces feeding. The levels of ROS in POMC neurons were positively correlated with those of leptin in lean and ob/ob mice, a relationship that was diminished in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. High-fat feeding resulted in proliferation of peroxisomes and elevated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR-?) mRNA levels within the hypothalamus. The proliferation of peroxisomes in POMC neurons induced by the PPAR-? agonist rosiglitazone decreased ROS levels and increased food intake in lean mice on high-fat diet. Conversely, the suppression of peroxisome proliferation by the PPAR antagonist GW9662 increased ROS concentrations and c-fos expression in POMC neurons. Also, it reversed high-fat feeding-triggered elevated NPY/AgRP and low POMC neuronal firing, and resulted in decreased feeding of DIO mice. Finally, central administration of ROS alone increased c-fos and phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (pStat3) expression in POMC neurons and reduced feeding of DIO mice. These observations unmask a previously unknown hypothalamic cellular process associated with peroxisomes and ROS in the central regulation of energy metabolism in states of leptin resistance.
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: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: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.