Aygul Aljanova

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia

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Publications (6)20.28 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Y2 receptors, particularly those in the brain, have been implicated in neuropeptide Y (NPY)-mediated effects on energy homeostasis and bone mass. Recent evidence also indicates a role for Y2 receptors in peripheral tissues in this process by promoting adipose tissue accretion; however their effects on energy balance remain unclear. Here, we show that adult-onset conditional knockdown of Y2 receptors predominantly in peripheral tissues results in protection against diet-induced obesity accompanied by significantly reduced weight gain, marked reduction in adiposity and improvements in glucose tolerance without any adverse effect on lean mass or bone. These changes occur in association with significant increases in energy expenditure, respiratory exchange ratio, and physical activity and despite concurrent hyperphagia. On a chow diet, knockdown of peripheral Y2 receptors results in increased respiratory exchange ratio and physical activity with no effect on lean or bone mass, but decreases energy expenditure without effecting body weight or food intake. These results suggest that peripheral Y2 receptor signaling is critical in the regulation of oxidative fuel selection and physical activity and protects against the diet-induced obesity. The lack of effects on bone mass seen in this model further indicates that bone mass is primarily controlled by non-peripheral Y2 receptors. This study provides evidence that novel drugs that target peripheral rather than central Y2 receptors could provide benefits for the treatment of obesity and glucose intolerance without adverse effects on lean and bone mass, with the additional benefit of avoiding side effects often associated with pharmaceuticals that act on the central nervous system.
    Obesity 05/2011; 19(11):2137-48. · 3.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gut-derived peptides are known to regulate food intake by activating specific receptors in the brain, but the target nuclei and neurons influenced are largely unknown. Here we show that peripherally administered pancreatic polypeptide (PP) stimulates neurons in key nuclei of the hypothalamus critical for appetite and satiety regulation. In the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), also known as the feeding center, neurons expressing the orexigenic neuropeptide orexin co-localize with the early neuronal activation marker c-Fos upon i.p. injection of PP into mice. In the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), also known as the satiety center, neurons activated by PP, as indicated by induction of c-Fos immunoreactivity, express the anorexigenic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Activation of neurons in the LHA and VMH in response to PP occurs via a Y4 receptor-dependent process as it is not seen in Y4 receptor knockout mice. We further demonstrate that in response to i.p. PP, orexin mRNA expression in the LHA is down-regulated, with Y4 receptors being critical for this effect as it is not seen in Y4 receptor knockout mice, whereas BDNF mRNA expression is up-regulated in the VMH in response to i.p. PP in the fasted, but not in the non-fasted state. Taken together these data suggest that PP can regulate food intake by suppressing orexigenic pathways by down-regulation of orexin and simultaneously increasing anorexigenic pathways by up-regulating BDNF.
    Neuropeptides 06/2010; 44(3):261-8. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Y2 receptor signalling is known to be important in neuropeptide Y (NPY)-mediated effects on energy homeostasis and bone physiology. Y2 receptors are located post-synaptically as well as acting as auto receptors on NPY-expressing neurons, and the different roles of these two populations of Y2 receptors in the regulation of energy homeostasis and body composition are unclear. We thus generated two conditional knockout mouse models, Y2(lox/lox) and NPYCre/+;Y2(lox/lox), in which Y2 receptors can be selectively ablated either in the hypothalamus or specifically in hypothalamic NPY-producing neurons of adult mice. Specific deletion of hypothalamic Y2 receptors increases food intake and body weight compared to controls. Importantly, specific ablation of hypothalamic Y2 receptors on NPY-containing neurons results in a significantly greater adiposity in female but not male mice, accompanied by increased hepatic triglyceride levels, decreased expression of liver carnitine palmitoyltransferase (CPT1) and increased expression of muscle phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). While food intake, body weight, femur length, bone mineral content, density and cortical bone volume and thickness are not significantly altered, trabecular bone volume and number were significantly increased by hypothalamic Y2 deletion on NPY-expressing neurons. Interestingly, in situ hybridisation reveals increased NPY and decreased proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA expression in the arcuate nucleus of mice with hypothalamus-specific deletion of Y2 receptors in NPY neurons, consistent with a negative feedback mechanism between NPY expression and Y2 receptors on NPY-ergic neurons. Taken together these data demonstrate the anti-obesogenic role of Y2 receptors in the brain, notably on NPY-ergic neurons, possibly via inhibition of NPY neurons and concomitant stimulation of POMC-expressing neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, reducing lipogenic pathways in liver and/or skeletal muscle in females. These data also reveal as an anti-osteogenic effect of Y2 receptors on hypothalamic NPY-expressing neurons on trabecular but not on cortical bone.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(6):e11361. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic polypeptide (PP) is a potent anti-obesity agent known to inhibit food intake in the absence of nausea, but the mechanism behind this process is unknown. Here we demonstrate that in response to i.p. injection of PP in wild type but not in Y4 receptor knockout mice, immunostaining for the neuronal activation marker c-Fos is induced specifically in neurons of the nucleus tractus solitarius and the area postrema in the brainstem, notably in cells also showing immunostaining for tyrosine hydroxylase. Importantly, strong c-Fos activation is also detected in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC), particularly in neurons that co-express alpha melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), the anorexigenic product of the proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene. Interestingly, other hypothalamic regions such as the paraventricular nucleus, the ventromedial nucleus and the lateral hypothalamic area also show c-Fos induction after PP injection. In addition to c-Fos activation, PP injection up-regulates POMC mRNA expression in the ARC as detected by in situ hybridization. These effects are a direct consequence of local Y4 signaling, since hypothalamus-specific conditional Y4 receptor knockout abolishes PP-induced ARC c-Fos activation and blocks the PP-induced increase in POMC mRNA expression. Additionally, the hypophagic effect of i.p. PP seen in wild type mice is completely absent in melanocortin 4 receptor knockout mice. Taken together, these findings show that PP reduces food intake predominantly via stimulation of the anorexigenic alpha-MSH signaling pathway, and that this effect is mediated by direct action on local Y4 receptors within the ARC, highlighting a potential novel avenue for the treatment of obesity.
    PLoS ONE 12/2009; 4(12):e8488. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The anticonvulsive properties of neuropeptide Y (NPY) are opening up opportunity for the development of NPY gene transfer as a therapy for epilepsy. In order to pursue the potential clinical translation of this approach, the effects of somatic NPY gene transfer on other hippocampal functions need to be assessed. The present study characterized the behavioral effects of recombinant adeno-associated viral vector (rAAV)-mediated hippocampal NPY overexpression in adult male mice and also Y1 receptor knockout mice. In wild-type mice, there were no obvious adverse effects on the general health, motor function and cognition following rAAV-NPY treatment. Moreover, hippocampal NPY overexpression induced a moderate anxiolytic effect in the open field test and elevated plus maze. Intriguingly, the treatment also increased depressive-like behavior in the tail suspension test. Elevated hippocampal NPY levels in the absence of Y1 signalling had no effects on anxiety or cognition and actually improved the depressive-like phenotype observed in the wild-type mice treated with rAAV-NPY.
    European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2009; 20(3):164-75. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Changes in whole body energy levels are closely linked to alterations in body weight and bone mass. Here, we show that hypothalamic signals contribute to the regulation of bone mass in a manner consistent with the central perception of energy status. Mice lacking neuropeptide Y (NPY), a well-known orexigenic factor whose hypothalamic expression is increased in fasting, have significantly increased bone mass in association with enhanced osteoblast activity and elevated expression of bone osteogenic transcription factors, Runx2 and Osterix. In contrast, wild type and NPY knockout (NPY (-/-)) mice in which NPY is specifically over expressed in the hypothalamus (AAV-NPY+) show a significant reduction in bone mass despite developing an obese phenotype. The AAV-NPY+ induced loss of bone mass is consistent with models known to mimic the central effects of fasting, which also show increased hypothalamic NPY levels. Thus these data indicate that, in addition to well characterized responses to body mass, skeletal tissue also responds to the perception of nutritional status by the hypothalamus independently of body weight. In addition, the reduction in bone mass by AAV NPY+ administration does not completely correct the high bone mass phenotype of NPY (-/-) mice, indicating the possibility that peripheral NPY may also be an important regulator of bone mass. Indeed, we demonstrate the expression of NPY specifically in osteoblasts. In conclusion, these data identifies NPY as a critical integrator of bone homeostatic signals; increasing bone mass during times of obesity when hypothalamic NPY expression levels are low and reducing bone formation to conserve energy under 'starving' conditions, when hypothalamic NPY expression levels are high.
    PLoS ONE 01/2009; 4(12):e8415. · 3.53 Impact Factor