Fasting Upregulates npy, agrp, and ghsr Without Increasing Ghrelin Levels in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Larvae.
ABSTRACT: Food intake in fish and mammals is orchestrated by hypothalamic crosstalk between orexigenic (food intake stimulation) and anorexigenic (food intake inhibition) signals. Some of these signals are released by peripheral tissues that are associated with energy homeostasis or nutrient availability. During the fish larva stage, orexigenic stimulation plays a critical role in individual viability. The goal of this study was to assess the mRNA levels of the main neuropeptides involved in food intake regulation (npy, agrp, carppt, and pomc), in concert with the mRNA levels and peptide levels of ghrelin, under a fasting intervention at the larval stage in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Prior to the fasting intervention, the zebrafish larva cohort was reared for 20 days post fertilization (dpf) and then randomly divided into two groups of 20 individuals. One group was subjected to a fasting intervention for 5 days (fasted group), and the other group was fed normally (fed group); this experimental protocol was performed twice independently. At the end of the fasting period, individuals from each experimental group were divided into different analysis groups, for evaluations such as relative gene expression, immunohistochemistry, and liquid chromatography coupled to nano high-resolution mass spectrometry (nLC-HRMS) analyses. The relative expression levels of the following genes were assessed: neuropeptide Y (npy), agouti-related peptide (agrp), proopiomelanocortin (pomc), cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (cartpt), ghrelin (ghrl), ghrelin O-acyltransferase (mboat4), growth hormone secretagogue receptor (ghsr), and glucokinase (gck). In the fasted group, significant upregulation of orexigenic peptides (npy - agrp) and ghsr was observed, which was associated with significant downregulation of gck. The anorexigenic peptides (pomc and cartpt) did not show any significant modulation between the groups, similar to mboat4. Contrary to what was expected, the relative mRNA upregulation of the orexigenic peptides observed in the fasted experimental group could not be associated with significant ghrelin modulation as assessed by three different approaches: qPCR (relative gene expression of ghrelin), nLC-HRMS (des-acyl-ghrelin levels), and immunohistochemistry (integrated optical density of prepropeptides in intestinal and hepatopancreas tissues). Our results demonstrate that zebrafish larvae at 25 dpf exhibit suitable modulation of the relative mRNA levels of orexigenic peptides (npy and agrp) in response to fasting intervention; nevertheless, ghrelin was not coregulated by fasting. Therefore, it can be suggested that ghrelin is not an essential peptide for an increase in appetite in the zebrafish larva stage. These results give rise to new questions about food intake regulation factors in the early stages of fish.
Project description:The fatty acid synthase inhibitor, C75, acts centrally to reduce food intake and body weight in mice. Here we report the effects of C75 on the expression of key orexigenic [neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related protein (AgRP), and melanin-concentrating hormone] and anorexigenic [pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine-amphetamine-related transcript (CART)] neuropeptide messages in the hypothalami of lean and obese (ob/ob) mice. In lean mice, C75 rapidly and almost completely blocked food intake and prevented fasting-induced up-regulation of hypothalamic AgRP and NPY mRNAs, as well as down-regulation of CART and POMC mRNAs. Thus, in lean mice C75 seems to interrupt the fasting-induced signals that activate expression of NPY and AgRP and suppression of POMC and CART. In obese mice, C75 rapidly suppressed food intake, reduced body weight, and normalized obesity-associated hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Like its effect in lean mice, C75 prevented the fasting-induced increase of hypothalamic NPY and AgRP mRNAs in obese mice, but had no effect on the expression of POMC and CART mRNAs. The suppressive effect of C75 on food intake in lean mice seems to be mediated both by NPY/AgRP and POMC/CART neurons, whereas in obese mice the effect seems to be mediated primarily by NPY/AgRP neurons. In both lean and obese mice, C75 markedly increased expression of melanin-concentrating hormone and its receptor in the hypothalamus.
Project description:We have shown that intrauterine fetal growth restriction (IUGR) newborn rats exhibit hyperphagia, reduced satiety, and adult obesity. Adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a principal metabolic regulator that specifically regulates appetite in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). In response to fasting, upregulated AMPK activity increases the expression of orexigenic (neuropeptide Y [NPY] and agouti-related protein [AgRP]) and decreases anorexigenic (proopiomelanocortin [POMC]) peptides. We hypothesized that IUGR offspring would exhibit upregulated hypothalamic AMPK, contributing to hyperphagia and obesity. We determined AMPK activity and appetite-modulating peptides (NPY and POMC) during fasting and fed conditions in the ARC of adult IUGR and control females. Pregnant rats were fed ad libitum diet (control) or were 50% food restricted from gestation day 10 to 21 to produce IUGR newborns. At 10 months of age, hypothalamic ARC was dissected from fasted (48 hours) and fed control and IUGR females. Arcuate nucleus messenger RNA ([mRNA] NPY, AgRP, and POMC) and protein expression (total and phosphorylated AMPK, Akt) was determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western Blot, respectively. In the fed state, IUGR adult females demonstrated evidence of persistent appetite stimulation with significantly upregulated phospho (Thr(172))-AMPK?/AMPK (1.3-fold), NPY/AgRP (2.3/1.8-fold) and decreased pAkt/Akt (0.6-fold) and POMC (0.7-fold) as compared to fed controls. In controls though not IUGR adult females, fasting significantly increased pAMPK/AMPK, NPY, and AgRP and decreased pAkt/Akt and POMC. Despite obesity, fed IUGR adult females exhibit upregulated AMPK activity and appetite stimulatory factors, similar to that exhibited by fasting controls. These results suggest that an enhanced appetite drive in both fed and fasting states contributes to hyperphagia and obesity in IUGR offspring.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Food intake and whole-body energy homeostasis are controlled by agouti-related protein (AgRP) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons located in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Key energy sensors, such as the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) or sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), are essential in AgRP and POMC cells to ensure proper energy balance. In peripheral tissues, the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1? closely associates with these sensors to regulate cellular metabolism. The role of PGC-1? in the ARC nucleus, however, remains unknown.<h4>Methods</h4>Using AgRP and POMC neurons specific knockout (KO) mouse models we studied the consequences of PGC-1? deletion on metabolic parameters during fed and fasted states and on ghrelin and leptin responses. We also took advantage of an immortalized AgRP cell line to assess the impact of PGC-1? modulation on fasting induced AgRP expression.<h4>Results</h4>PGC-1? is dispensable for POMC functions in both fed and fasted states. In stark contrast, mice carrying a specific deletion of PGC-1? in AgRP neurons display increased adiposity concomitant with significantly lower body temperature and RER values during nighttime. In addition, the absence of PGC-1? in AgRP neurons reduces food intake in the fed and fasted states and alters the response to leptin. Finally, both in vivo and in an immortalized AgRP cell line, PGC-1? modulates AgRP expression induction upon fasting.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Collectively, our results highlight a role for PGC-1? in the regulation of AgRP neuronal functions in the control of food intake and peripheral metabolism.
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.
Project description:The ability to regulate food intake is critical to survival. The hypothalamus is central to this regulation, integrating peripheral signals of energy availability. Although our understanding of hunger in rodents is advanced, an equivalent understanding in birds is lacking. In particular, the relationship between peripheral energy indices and hypothalamic 'hunger' peptides, agouti-related protein (AgRP), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) is poorly understood. Here, we compare AgRP, POMC and NPY RNA levels in the hypothalamus of Red Junglefowl chicks raised under ad libitum, chronic restriction and intermittent feeding regimens. Hypothalamic gene expression differed between chronically and intermittently restricted birds, confirming that different restriction regimens elicit different patterns of hunger. By assessing the relationship between hypothalamic gene expression and carcass traits, we show for the first time in birds that AgRP and POMC are responsive to fat-related measures and therefore represent long-term energy status. Chronically restricted birds, having lower indices of fat, show elevated hunger according to AgRP and POMC. NPY was elevated in intermittently fasted birds during fasting, suggesting a role as a short-term index of hunger. The different physiological and neuroendocrine responses to quantitative versus temporal feed restriction provide novel insights into the divergent roles of avian hunger neuropeptides.
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 orexigenic effect of ghrelin is mediated by neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC). Recent evidence also indicates that ghrelin promotes feeding through a mechanism involving activation of hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and inactivation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase (FAS). This results in decreased hypothalamic levels of malonyl-CoA, increased carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) activity, and mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species. We evaluated whether these molecular events are part of a unique signaling cascade or whether they represent alternative pathways mediating the orexigenic effect of ghrelin. Moreover, we examined the gender dependency of these mechanisms, because recent evidence has proposed that ghrelin orexigenic effect is reduced in female rats. We studied in both genders the effect of ghrelin on the expression of AgRP and NPY, as well as their transcription factors: cAMP response-element binding protein (CREB and its phosphorylated form, pCREB), forkhead box O1 (FoxO1 and its phosphorylated form, pFoxO1), and brain-specific homeobox transcription factor (BSX). In addition, to establish a mechanistic link between ghrelin, fatty acid metabolism, and neuropeptides, we evaluated the effect of ghrelin after blockage of hypothalamic fatty acid beta oxidation, by using the CPT1 inhibitor etomoxir. Ghrelin-induced changes in the AMPK-CPT1 pathway are associated with increased levels of AgRP and NPY mRNA expression through modulation of BSX, pCREB, and FoxO1, as well as decreased expression of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers in a gender-independent manner. In addition, blockage of hypothalamic fatty acid beta oxidation prevents the ghrelin-promoting action on AgRP and NPY mRNA expression, also in a gender-independent manner. Notably, this effect is associated with decreased BSX expression and reduced food intake. Overall, our data suggest that BSX integrates changes in neuronal metabolic status with ARC-derived neuropeptides in a gender-independent manner.
Project description:The initial discovery that ob/ob mice become obese because of a recessive mutation of the leptin gene has been crucial to discover the melanocortin pathway to control appetite. In the melanocortin pathway, the fed state is signaled by abundance of circulating hormones such as leptin and insulin, which bind to receptors expressed at the surface of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons to promote processing of POMC to the mature hormone ?-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (?-MSH). The ?-MSH released by POMC neurons then signals to decrease energy intake by binding to melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) expressed by MC4R neurons to the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Conversely, in the 'starved state' activity of agouti-related neuropeptide (AgRP) and of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-expressing neurons is increased by decreased levels of circulating leptin and insulin and by the orexigenic hormone ghrelin to promote food intake. This initial understanding of the melanocortin pathway has recently been implemented by the description of the complex neuronal circuit that controls the activity of POMC, AgRP/NPY and MC4R neurons and downstream signaling by these neurons. This review summarizes the progress done on the melanocortin pathway and describes how obesity alters this pathway to disrupt energy homeostasis. We also describe progress on how leptin and insulin receptors signal in POMC neurons, how MC4R signals and how altered expression and traffic of MC4R change the acute signaling and desensitization properties of the receptor. We also describe how the discovery of the melanocortin pathway has led to the use of melanocortin agonists to treat obesity derived from genetic disorders.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Corticotropin-releasing factor overexpressing (CRF-OE) male mice showed an inhibited feeding response to a fast, and lower plasma acyl ghrelin and Fos expression in the arcuate nucleus compared to wild-type (WT) mice. We investigated whether hormones and hypothalamic feeding signals are impaired in CRF-OE mice and the influence of sex. METHODS:Male and female CRF-OE mice and WT littermates (4-6 months old) fed ad libitum or overnight fasted were assessed for body, adrenal glands and perigonadal fat weights, food intake, plasma hormones, blood glucose, and mRNA hypothalamic signals. RESULTS:Under fed conditions, compared to WT, CRF-OE mice have increased adrenal glands and perigonadal fat weight, plasma corticosterone, leptin and insulin, and hypothalamic leptin receptor and decreased plasma acyl ghrelin. Compared to male, female WT mice have lower body and perigonadal fat and plasma leptin but higher adrenal glands weights. CRF-OE mice lost these sex differences except for the adrenals. Male CRF-OE and WT mice did not differ in hypothalamic expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC), while female CRF-OE compared to female WT and male CRF-OE had higher NPY mRNA levels. After fasting, female WT mice lost more body weight and ate more food than male WT, while CRF-OE mice had reduced body weight loss and inhibited food intake without sex difference. In male WT mice, fasting reduced plasma insulin and leptin and increased acyl ghrelin and corticosterone while female WT showed only a rise in corticosterone. In CRF-OE mice, fasting reduced insulin while leptin, acyl ghrelin and corticosterone were unchanged with no sex difference. Fasting blood glucose was higher in CRF-OE with female?>?male. In WT mice, fasting increased hypothalamic NPY expression in both sexes and decreased POMC only in males, while in CRF-OE mice, NPY did not change, and POMC decreased in males and increased in females. CONCLUSIONS:These data indicate that CRF-OE mice have abnormal basal and fasting circulating hormones and hypothalamic feeding-related signals. CRF-OE also abolishes the sex difference in body weight, abdominal fat, and fasting-induced feeding and changes in plasma levels of leptin and acyl ghrelin.
Project description:Aging is often associated with overweight and obesity. There exists a long-standing debate about whether meal pattern also contributes to the development of obesity. The orexigenic hormone ghrelin regulates appetite and satiety by activating its receptor, growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R). In mice, circulating ghrelin concentrations and brain GHS-R expression were shown to increase with aging. To assess whether GHS-R regulates feeding pattern during aging, we studied meal patterns for the following cohorts of male mice fed a normal unpurified diet: 1) 3-4 mo, young wild-type (WT) mice; 2) 3-4 mo, young Ghsr-null (Ghsr(-/-)) mice; 3) 12-14 mo, middle-aged WT (WT-M) mice; 4) 12-14 mo, middle-aged Ghsr(-/-) (Ghsr(-/-)-M) mice; 5) 24-26 mo, old WT (WT-O) mice; and 6) 24-26 mo, old Ghsr(-/-) (Ghsr(-/-)-O) mice. Although the total daily food intake of Ghsr(-/-) mice was similar to that of WT controls, Ghsr(-/-)-M and Ghsr(-/-)-O mice had 9% (P = 0.07) and 16% (P < 0.05) less body weight compared with WT-M and WT-O mice, respectively, primarily due to reduced fat mass (P < 0.05, WT-M vs. Ghsr(-/-)-M and WT-O vs. Ghsr(-/-)-O). Intriguingly, Ghsr(-/-)-M mice ate larger meals (on average, Ghsr(-/-)-M mice ate 0.117 g/meal and WT-M mice ate 0.080 g/meal; P < 0.01) and took a longer time to eat (Ghsr(-/-)-M, 196.0 s and WT-M, 128.9 s; P < 0.01), but ate less frequently (Ghsr(-/-)-M, 31.0 times/d and WT-M, 42.3 times/d; P < 0.05) than WT-M controls. In addition, we found that expression of hypothalamic orexigenic peptides, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP), was relatively lower in aged WT mice (P = 0.09 for NPY and P = 0.06 for AgRP), but anorexic peptide pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) expression remained unchanged between the WT age groups. Interestingly, old Ghsr(-/-) mice had greater hypothalamic NPY expression (102% higher; P < 0.05) and AgRP expression (P = 0.07) but significantly lower POMC expression (P < 0.05) when compared with age-matched WT-O controls. Thus, our results indicate that GHS-R plays an important role in the regulation of meal pattern and that GHS-R ablation may modulate feeding behavior through the regulation of hypothalamic neuropeptides. Our results collectively suggest that ghrelin receptor antagonism may have a beneficial effect on metabolism during aging.