Enhanced orexin receptor-2 signaling prevents diet-induced obesity and improves leptin sensitivity.

Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.
Cell metabolism (Impact Factor: 16.75). 02/2009; 9(1):64-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.10.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The hypothalamic orexin neuropeptide acutely promotes appetite, yet orexin deficiency in humans and mice is associated with obesity. Prolonged effects of increased orexin signaling upon energy homeostasis have not been fully characterized. Here, we examine the metabolic effects of orexin gain of function utilizing genetic and pharmacologic techniques in mice. Transgenic orexin overexpression confers resistance to high-fat diet-induced obesity and insulin insensitivity by promoting energy expenditure and reducing consumption. Genetic studies indicate that orexin receptor-2 (OX2R), rather than OX1R signaling, predominantly mediates this phenotype. Likewise, prolonged central administration of an OX2R-selective peptide agonist inhibits diet-induced obesity. While orexin overexpression enhances the anorectic-catabolic effects of central leptin administration, obese leptin-deficient mice are completely resistant to the metabolic effects of orexin overexpression or OX2R agonist infusion. We conclude that enhanced orexin-OX2R signaling confers resistance to diet-induced features of the metabolic syndrome through negative energy homeostasis and improved leptin sensitivity.

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    ABSTRACT: Glucose produced by the liver is a major energy source for the brain. Considering its critical dependence on glucose, it seems only natural that the brain is capable of monitoring and controlling glucose homeostasis. In addition to neuroendocrine pathways, the brain uses the autonomic nervous system to communicate with peripheral organs. Within the brain, the hypothalamus is the key region to integrate signals on energy status, including signals from lipid, glucose, and hormone sensing cells, with afferent neural signals from the internal and external milieu. In turn, the hypothalamus regulates metabolism in peripheral organs, including the liver, not only via the anterior pituitary gland but also via multiple neuropeptidergic pathways in the hypothalamus that have been identified as regulators of hepatic glucose metabolism. These pathways comprise preautonomic neurons projecting to nuclei in the brain stem and spinal cord, which relay signals from the hypothalamus to the liver via the autonomic nervous system. The neuroendocrine and neuronal outputs of the hypothalamus are not separate entities. They appear to act as a single integrated regulatory system, far more subtle, and complex than when each is viewed in isolation. Consequently, hypothalamic regulation should be viewed as a summation of both neuroendocrine and neural influences. As a result, our endocrine-based understanding of diseases such as diabetes and obesity should be expanded by integration of neural inputs into our concept of the pathophysiological process. © 2014 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 5: 147-165, 2014.
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    ABSTRACT: Survival depends on an organism's ability to sense nutrient status and accordingly regulate intake and energy expenditure behaviors. Uncoupling of energy sensing and behavior, however, underlies energy balance disorders such as anorexia or obesity. The hypothalamus regulates energy balance, and in particular the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) is poised to coordinate peripheral cues of energy status and behaviors that impact weight, such as drinking, locomotor behavior, arousal/sleep and autonomic output. There are several populations of LHA neurons that are defined by their neuropeptide content and contribute to energy balance. LHA neurons that express the neuropeptides melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) or orexins/hypocretins (OX) are best characterized and these neurons play important roles in regulating ingestion, arousal, locomotor behavior and autonomic function via distinct neuronal circuits. Recently, another population of LHA neurons containing the neuropeptide Neurotensin (Nts) has been implicated in coordinating anorectic stimuli and behavior to regulate hydration and energy balance. Understanding the specific roles of MCH, OX and Nts neurons in harmonizing energy sensing and behavior thus has the potential to inform pharmacological strategies to modify behaviors and treat energy balance disorders.
    Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 02/2015; 9:9. DOI:10.3389/fnsys.2015.00009

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