P110? in the ventromedial hypothalamus regulates glucose and energy metabolism.
ABSTRACT: Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling in hypothalamic neurons integrates peripheral metabolic cues, including leptin and insulin, to coordinate systemic glucose and energy homeostasis. PI3K is composed of different subunits, each of which has several unique isoforms. However, the role of the PI3K subunits and isoforms in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), a prominent site for the regulation of glucose and energy homeostasis, is unclear. Here we investigated the role of subunit p110? in steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) neurons of the VMH in the regulation of metabolism. Our data demonstrate that the deletion of p110? in SF-1 neurons disrupts glucose metabolism, rendering the mice insulin resistant. In addition, the deletion of p110? in SF-1 neurons leads to the whitening of brown adipose tissues and increased susceptibility to diet-induced obesity due to blunted energy expenditure. These results highlight a critical role for p110? in the regulation of glucose and energy homeostasis via VMH neurons.
Project description:Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1)-expressing neurons of the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) control energy homeostasis, but the role of insulin action in these cells remains undefined. We show that insulin activates phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K) signaling in SF-1 neurons and reduces firing frequency in these cells through activation of K(ATP) channels. These effects were abrogated in mice with insulin receptor deficiency restricted to SF-1 neurons (SF-1(?IR) mice). Whereas body weight and glucose homeostasis remained the same in SF-1(?IR) mice as in controls under a normal chow diet, they were protected from diet-induced leptin resistance, weight gain, adiposity and impaired glucose tolerance. High-fat feeding activated PI3K signaling in SF-1 neurons of control mice, and this response was attenuated in the VMH of SF-1(?IR) mice. Mimicking diet-induced overactivation of PI3K signaling by disruption of the phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate phosphatase PTEN led to increased body weight and hyperphagia under a normal chow diet. Collectively, our experiments reveal that high-fat diet-induced, insulin-dependent PI3K activation in VMH neurons contributes to obesity development.
Project description:The transcription factor FOXO1 plays a central role in metabolic homeostasis by regulating leptin and insulin activity in many cell types, including neurons. However, the neurons mediating these effects and the identity of the molecular targets through which FOXO1 regulates metabolism remain to be defined. Here, we show that the ventral medial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) is a key site of FOXO1 action. We found that mice lacking FOXO1 in steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) neurons of the VMH are lean due to increased energy expenditure. The mice also failed to appropriately suppress energy expenditure in response to fasting. Furthermore, these mice displayed improved glucose tolerance due to increased insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle and heart. Gene expression profiling and sequence analysis revealed several pathways regulated by FOXO1. In addition, we identified the nuclear receptor SF-1 as a direct FOXO1 transcriptional target in the VMH. Collectively, our data suggest that the transcriptional networks modulated by FOXO1 in VMH neurons are key components in the regulation of energy balance and glucose homeostasis.
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:The nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) plays essential roles in the development and function of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH). Considerable evidence links the VMH and SF-1 with the regulation of energy homeostasis. Here, we demonstrate that SF-1 colocalizes in VMH neurons with the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) and that a specific CB1R agonist modulates electrical activity of SF-1 neurons in hypothalamic slice preparations. We further show that SF-1 directly regulates CB1R gene expression via a SF-1-responsive element at -101 in its 5'-flanking region. Finally, we show that knockout mice with selective inactivation of SF-1 in the brain have decreased expression of CB1R in the region of the VMH and exhibit a blunted response to systemically administered CB1R agonists. These studies suggest that SF-1 directly regulates the expression of CB1R, which has been implicated in the regulation of energy homeostasis and anxiety-like behavior.
Project description:Estrogens act in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) to regulate body weight homeostasis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these estrogenic effects are unknown. We show that activation of estrogen receptor-α (ERα) stimulates neural firing of VMH neurons expressing ERα, and these effects are blocked with intracellular application of a pharmacological inhibitor of the phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Further, we demonstrated that mice with genetic inhibition of PI3K activity in VMH neurons showed a sexual dimorphic obese phenotype, with only female mutants being affected. In addition, inhibition of VMH PI3K activity blocked effects of 17β-estradiol to stimulate energy expenditure, but did not affect estrogen-induced anorexia. Collectively, our results indicate that PI3K activity in VMH neurons plays a physiologically relevant role in mediating estrogenic actions on energy expenditure in females.
Project description:The ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) is important for the regulation of whole body energy homeostasis and lesions in the VMH are reported to result in massive weight gain. The nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) is a known VMH marker as it is exclusively expressed in the VMH region of the brain. SF-1 plays a critical role not only in the development of VMH but also in its physiological functions. In this study, we generated prenatal VMH-specific SF-1 KO mice and investigated age-dependent energy homeostasis regulation by SF-1. Deletion of SF-1 in the VMH resulted in dysregulated insulin and leptin homeostasis and late onset obesity due to increased food intake under normal chow and high fat diet conditions. In addition, SF-1 ablation was accompanied by a marked reduction in energy expenditure and physical activity and this effect was significantly pronounced in the aged mice. Taken together, our data indicates that SF-1 is a key component in the VMH-mediated regulation of energy homeostasis and implies that SF-1 plays a protective role against metabolic stressors including aging and high fat diet.
Project description:Phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling in the hypothalamus has been implicated in the regulation of energy homeostasis, but the critical brain sites where this intracellular signal integrates various metabolic cues to regulate food intake and energy expenditure are unknown. Here, we show that mice with reduced PI3K activity in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) are more sensitive to high-fat diet-induced obesity due to reduced energy expenditure. In addition, inhibition of PI3K in the VMH impaired the ability to alter energy expenditure in response to acute high-fat diet feeding and food deprivation. Furthermore, the acute anorexigenic effects induced by exogenous leptin were blunted in the mutant mice. Collectively, our results indicate that PI3K activity in VMH neurons plays a physiologically relevant role in the regulation of energy expenditure.
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 ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) regulates energy homeostasis as well as social and emotional behaviors. Nearly all VMH neurons, including those in the sexually dimorphic ventrolateral VMH (VMHvl) subregion, release the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate and use the vesicular glutamate transporter 2 (Vglut2). Here, we asked how glutamatergic signaling contributes to the collective metabolic and behavioral responses attributed to the VMH and VMHvl.Using Sf1-Cre and a Vglut2 floxed allele, Vglut2 was knocked-out in SF-1 VMH neurons (Vglut2 (Sf1-Cre) ). Metabolic and neurobehavioral assays were carried out initially on Vglut2 (fl/fl) and Vglut2 (Sf1-Cre) mice in a mixed, and then in the C57BL/6 genetic background, which is prone to hyperglycemia and diet induced obesity (DIO).Several phenotypes observed in Vglut2 (Sf1-Cre) mice were largely unexpected based on prior studies that have perturbed VMH development or VMH glutamate signaling. In our hands, Vglut2 (Sf1-Cre) mice failed to exhibit the anticipated increase in body weight after high fat diet (HFD) or the impaired glucose homeostasis after fasting. Instead, there was a significant sex-dependent attenuation of DIO in Vglut2 (Sf1-Cre) females. Vglut2 (Sf1-Cre) males also display a sex-specific loss of conditioned-fear responses and aggression accompanied by more novelty-associated locomotion. Finally, unlike the higher anxiety noted in Sf1 (Nestin-Cre) mice that lack a fully formed VMH, both male and female Vglut2 (Sf1-Cre) mice were less anxious.Loss of VMH glutamatergic signaling sharply decreased DIO in females, attenuated aggression and learned fear in males, and was anxiolytic in males and females. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that while glutamatergic output from the VMH appears largely dispensable for counter regulatory responses to hypoglycemia, it drives sex-dependent differences in metabolism and social behaviors and is essential for adaptive responses to anxiety-provoking stimuli in both sexes.
Project description:PI3K signaling is thought to mediate leptin and insulin action in hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons, key regulators of energy homeostasis, through largely unknown mechanisms. We inactivated either p110alpha or p110beta PI3K catalytic subunits in these neurons and demonstrate a dominant role for the latter in energy homeostasis regulation. In POMC neurons, p110beta inactivation prevented insulin- and leptin-stimulated electrophysiological responses. POMCp110beta null mice exhibited central leptin resistance, increased adiposity, and diet-induced obesity. In contrast, the response to leptin was not blocked in p110alpha-deficient POMC neurons. Accordingly, POMCp110alpha null mice displayed minimal energy homeostasis abnormalities. Similarly, in AgRP neurons, p110beta had a more important role than p110alpha. AgRPp110alpha null mice displayed normal energy homeostasis regulation, whereas AgRPp110beta null mice were lean, with increased leptin sensitivity and resistance to diet-induced obesity. These results demonstrate distinct metabolic roles for the p110alpha and p110beta isoforms of PI3K in hypothalamic energy regulation.