MCH Regulates SIRT1/FoxO1 and Reduces POMC Neuronal Activity to Induce Hyperphagia, Adiposity, and Glucose Intolerance.
ABSTRACT: Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is an important regulator of food intake, glucose metabolism, and adiposity. However, the mechanisms mediating these actions remain largely unknown. We used pharmacological and genetic approaches to show that the sirtuin 1 (SIRT1)/FoxO1 signaling pathway in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) mediates MCH-induced feeding, adiposity, and glucose intolerance. MCH reduces proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neuronal activity, and the SIRT1/FoxO1 pathway regulates the inhibitory effect of MCH on POMC expression. Remarkably, the metabolic actions of MCH are compromised in mice lacking SIRT1 specifically in POMC neurons. Of note, the actions of MCH are independent of agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons because inhibition of ?-aminobutyric acid receptor in the ARC did not prevent the orexigenic action of MCH, and the hypophagic effect of MCH silencing was maintained after chemogenetic stimulation of AgRP neurons. Central SIRT1 is required for MCH-induced weight gain through its actions on the sympathetic nervous system. The central MCH knockdown causes hypophagia and weight loss in diet-induced obese wild-type mice; however, these effects were abolished in mice overexpressing SIRT1 fed a high-fat diet. These data reveal the neuronal basis for the effects of MCH on food intake, body weight, and glucose metabolism and highlight the relevance of SIRT1/FoxO1 pathway in obesity.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The hypothalamus is the brain center that controls the energy balance. Anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons and orexigenic AgRP neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus plays critical roles in energy balance regulation. FoxO1 is a transcription factor regulated by insulin signaling that is deacetylated by Sirt1, a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide- (NAD(+) -) dependent deacetylase. Overexpression of insulin-resistant constitutively-nuclear FoxO1 (CN-FoxO1) in POMC neurons leads to obesity, whereas Sirt1 overexpression in POMC neurons leads to leanness. Whether overexpression of Sirt1 in POMC neurons could rescue the obesity caused by insulin-resistant CN-FoxO1 was tested here.<h4>Methods</h4>POMC neuron-specific CN-FoxO1/Sirt1 double-KI (DKI) mice were analyzed.<h4>Results</h4>The obese phenotype of CN-FoxO1 KI mice was rescued in male DKI mice. Reduced O2 consumption, increased adiposity, and fewer POMC neurons observed in CN-FoxO1 mice were rescued in male DKI mice without affecting food intake and locomotor activity. Sirt1 overexpression decreased FoxO1 acetylation and protein levels without affecting its nuclear localization in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and hypothalamic N41 cells.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Sirt1 rescues the obesity induced by insulin-resistant CN-FoxO1 in POMC neurons of male mice by decreasing FoxO1 protein through deacetylation. Sirt1 ameliorates obesity caused by a genetic model of central insulin resistance.
Project description:AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Obesity is associated with ageing and increased energy intake, while restriction of energy intake improves health and longevity in multiple organisms; the NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is implicated in this process. Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus are critical for energy balance regulation, and the level of SIRT1 protein decreases with age in the ARC. In the current study we tested whether conditional Sirt1 overexpression in mouse POMC or AgRP neurons prevents age-associated weight gain and diet-induced obesity. METHODS: We targeted Sirt1 cDNA sequence into the Rosa26 locus and generated conditional Sirt1 knock-in mice. These mice were crossed with mice harbouring either Pomc-Cre or Agrp-Cre and the metabolic variables, food intake, energy expenditure and sympathetic activity in adipose tissue of the resultant mice were analysed. We also used a hypothalamic cell line to investigate the molecular mechanism by which Sirt1 overexpression modulates leptin signalling. RESULTS: Conditional Sirt1 overexpression in mouse POMC or AgRP neurons prevented age-associated weight gain; overexpression in POMC neurons stimulated energy expenditure via increased sympathetic activity in adipose tissue, whereas overexpression in AgRP neurons suppressed food intake. SIRT1 improved leptin sensitivity in hypothalamic neurons in vitro and in vivo by downregulating protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B, T cell protein-tyrosine phosphatase and suppressor of cytokine signalling 3. However, these phenotypes were absent in mice consuming a high-fat, high-sucrose diet due to decreases in ARC SIRT1 protein and hypothalamic NAD(+) levels. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: ARC SIRT1 is a negative regulator of energy balance, and decline in ARC SIRT1 function contributes to disruption of energy homeostasis by ageing and diet-induced obesity.
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:Two classes of peptide-producing neurons in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) of the hypothalamus are known to exert opposing actions on feeding: the anorexigenic neurons that express proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and the orexigenic neurons that express agouti-related protein (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY). These neurons are thought to arise from a common embryonic progenitor, but our anatomical and functional understanding of the interplay of these two peptidergic systems that contribute to the control of feeding remains incomplete. The present study uses a combination of optogenetic stimulation with viral and transgenic approaches, coupled with neural activity mapping and brain transparency visualization to demonstrate the following: (i) selective activation of Arc POMC neurons inhibits food consumption rapidly in unsated animals; (ii) activation of Arc neurons arising from POMC-expressing progenitors, including POMC and a subset of AgRP neurons, triggers robust feeding behavior, even in the face of satiety signals from POMC neurons; (iii) the opposing effects on food intake are associated with distinct neuronal projection and activation patterns of adult hypothalamic POMC neurons versus Arc neurons derived from POMC-expressing lineages; and (iv) the increased food intake following the activation of orexigenic neurons derived from POMC-expressing progenitors engages an extensive neural network that involves the endogenous opioid system. Together, these findings shed further light on the dynamic balance between two peptidergic systems in the moment-to-moment regulation of feeding behavior.
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:Insulin signaling in the central nervous system (CNS) regulates energy balance and peripheral glucose homeostasis. Rictor is a key regulatory/structural subunit of the mTORC2 complex and is required for hydrophobic motif site phosphorylation of Akt at serine 473. To examine the contribution of neuronal Rictor/mTORC2 signaling to CNS regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis, we utilized Cre-LoxP technology to generate mice lacking Rictor in all neurons, or in either POMC or AgRP expressing neurons. Rictor deletion in all neurons led to increased fat mass and adiposity, glucose intolerance and behavioral leptin resistance. Disrupting Rictor in POMC neurons also caused obesity and hyperphagia, fasting hyperglycemia and pronounced glucose intolerance. AgRP neuron specific deletion did not impact energy balance but led to mild glucose intolerance. Collectively, we show that Rictor/mTORC2 signaling, especially in POMC-expressing neurons, is important for central regulation of energy and glucose homeostasis.
Project description:The PI3K-Akt-FoxO1 pathway contributes to the actions of insulin and leptin in several cell types, including neurons in the CNS. However, identifying these actions in chemically identified neurons has proven difficult. To address this problem, we have developed a reporter mouse for monitoring PI3K-Akt signaling in specific populations of neurons, based on FoxO1 nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. The reporter, FoxO1 fused to green fluorescent protein (FoxO1GFP), is expressed under the control of a ubiquitous promoter that is silenced by a loxP flanked transcriptional blocker. Thus, the expression of the reporter in selected cells is dependent on the action of Cre recombinase. Using this model, we found that insulin treatment resulted in the nuclear exclusion of FoxO1GFP within POMC and AgRP neurons in a dose- and time-dependent manner. FoxO1GFP nuclear exclusion was also observed in POMC neurons following in vivo administration of insulin. In addition, leptin induced transient nuclear export of FoxO1GFP in POMC neurons in a dose dependent manner. Finally, insulin-induced nuclear export was impaired in POMC neurons by pretreatment with free fatty acids, a paradigm known to induce insulin resistance in peripheral insulin target tissues. Thus, our FoxO1GFP mouse provides a tool for monitoring the status of PI3K-Akt signaling in a cell-specific manner under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.
Project description:Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus and nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) of the brainstem play important roles in suppressing food intake and maintaining energy homeostasis. Previous tract-tracing studies have revealed the axonal connection patterns of these two brain areas, but the intermingling of POMC neurons with other neuron types has made it challenging to precisely identify the inputs and outputs of POMC neurons. In this study, we used the modified rabies virus to map the brain areas that provide direct inputs to the POMC neurons in the ARC and NTS as well as the inputs to the ARC AgRP neurons for comparison. ARC POMC neurons receive inputs from dozens of discrete structures throughout the forebrain and brainstem. The brain areas containing the presynaptic partners of ARC POMC neurons largely overlap with those of ARC AgRP neurons, although POMC neurons receive relatively broader, denser inputs. Furthermore, POMC neurons in the NTS receive direct inputs predominantly from the brainstem and show very different innervation patterns for POMC neurons in the ARC. By selectively expressing fluorescent markers in the ARC and NTS POMC neurons, we found that almost all of their major presynaptic partners are innervated by POMC neurons in the two areas, suggesting that there are strong reciprocal projections among the major POMC neural pathways. By comprehensively chartering the whole-brain connections of the central melanocortin system in a cell-type-specific manner, this study lays the foundation for dissecting the roles and underlying circuit mechanisms of specific neural pathways in regulating energy homeostasis.
Project description:Ghrelin's receptor, growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR), is highly expressed in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and in neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons. Fasting, diet-induced obesity (DIO), and 17?-estradiol (E2) influence ARC Ghsr expression. It is unknown if these effects occur in NPY neurons. Therefore, we examined the expression of Npy, Agrp, and GHSR signaling pathway genes after fasting, DIO, and E2 replacement in ARC and pools of NPY neurons. In males, fasting increased ARC Ghsr and NPY Foxo1 but decreased NPY Ucp2. In males, DIO decreased ARC and NPY Ghsr and Cpt1c. In fed females, E2 increased Agrp, Ghsr, Cpt1c, and Foxo1 in ARC. In NPY pools, E2 decreased Foxo1 in fed females but increased Foxo1 in fasted females. DIO in females suppressed Agrp and augmented Cpt1c in NPY neurons. In summary, genes involved in GHSR signaling are differentially regulated between the ARC and NPY neurons in a sex-dependent manner.
Project description:Signaling by the corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 1 (CRFR1) plays an important role in mediating the autonomic response to stressful challenges. Multiple hypothalamic nuclei regulate sympathetic outflow. Although CRFR1 is highly expressed in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) of the hypothalamus, the identity of these neurons and the role of CRFR1 here are presently unknown. Our studies show that nearly half of Arc-CRFR1 neurons coexpress agouti-related peptide (AgRP), half of which originate from POMC precursors. Arc-CRFR1 neurons are innervated by CRF neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, and CRF application decreases AgRP(+)CRFR1(+) neurons' excitability. Despite similar anatomy in both sexes, only female mice selectively lacking CRFR1 in AgRP neurons showed a maladaptive thermogenic response to cold and reduced hepatic glucose production during fasting. Thus, CRFR1, in a subset of AgRP neurons, plays a regulatory role that enables appropriate sympathetic nervous system activation and consequently protects the organism from hypothermia and hypoglycemia.