Distinct roles for specific leptin receptor signals in the development of hypothalamic feeding circuits.
ABSTRACT Circulating hormones influence multiple aspects of hypothalamic development and play a role in directing formation of neural circuits. Leptin is secreted by adipocytes and functions as a key developmental signal that promotes axon outgrowth from the arcuate nucleus (ARH) during a discrete developmental critical period. To determine the cellular mechanisms by which leptin impacts development of hypothalamic circuits, we examined roles for leptin receptor (LepRb) signals in neonatal mice. LepRb, ERK, and STAT3 signaling were required for leptin-stimulated neurite outgrowth from ARH explants in vitro. Neonatal mice with disrupted LepRb→ERK signaling displayed impaired ARH projections but were able to compensate by adulthood. LepRb→STAT3 signaling also plays a role in early circuit formation and controls the ultimate architecture of POMC, but not AgRP, projections. Thus, the developmental actions of leptin on feeding circuits are dependent on LepRb, and distinct signaling pathways are responsible for directing formation of NPY and POMC projections.
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ABSTRACT: Recent studies have implicated the hormone leptin in synaptic plasticity associated with neuronal development and learning and memory. Indeed, leptin facilitates hippocampal long-term potentiation and leptin-insensitive rodents display impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity suggesting a role for endogenous leptin. Structural changes are also thought to underlie activity-dependent synaptic plasticity and this may be regulated by specific growth factors. As leptin is reported to have neurotrophic actions, we have examined the effects of leptin on the morphology and filopodial outgrowth in hippocampal neurons. Here, we demonstrate that leptin rapidly enhances the motility and density of dendritic filopodia and subsequently increases the density of hippocampal synapses. This process is dependent on the synaptic activation of NR2A-containing NMDA receptors and is mediated by the MAPK (ERK) signaling pathway. As dendritic morphogenesis is associated with activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength, the rapid structural remodeling of dendrites by leptin has important implications for its role in regulating hippocampal synaptic plasticity and neuronal development.Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 09/2007; 35(4):559-72. · 3.66 Impact Factor
Article: Phosphodiesterase expression targeted to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons inhibits luteinizing hormone pulses in transgenic rats.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Experiments in the GT1 gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) cell line have shown that the cAMP signaling pathway plays a central role in regulating the excitability of the cells. Lowering cAMP levels by expressing the constitutively active cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase PDE4D1 in GT1 cells inhibited spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations and intrinsic pulsatile GnRH secretion. To address the role of cAMP levels in endogenous GnRH neurons, we genetically targeted expression of PDE4D1 (P) to GnRH neurons in transgenic rats (R) by using the GnRH gene promoterenhancer regions (G). Three lines of transgenic rats, GPR-2, -4, and -5, were established. In situ hybridization and RT-PCR studies demonstrated that transgene expression was specifically targeted to GnRH neurons. Decreased fertility was observed in female but not in male rats from all three lines. The mean luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in ovariectomized rats were significantly reduced in the GPR-4 and -5 lines but not in the GPR-2 line. In castrated male and female GPR-4 rats, the LH pulse frequency was dramatically reduced. Six of twelve GPR-4 females studied did not ovulate and had polycystic ovaries. The remaining six females ovulated, but the magnitude of the preovulatory LH surge was inhibited by 63%. These findings support the hypothesis that cAMP signaling may play a central role in regulating excitability of GnRH neurons in vivo. The GPR-4 line of transgenic rats provides a genetic model for the understanding of the role of pulsatile gonadotropin release in follicular development.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2003; 99(26):17191-6. · 9.68 Impact Factor