[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies in humans and rodents indicate that a minimum amount of stored energy is required for normal pubertal development. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin is a key metabolic signal to the neuroendocrine reproductive axis. Humans and mice lacking leptin or the leptin receptor (LepR) (ob/ob and db/db mice, respectively) are infertile and fail to enter puberty. Leptin administration to leptin-deficient subjects and ob/ob mice induces puberty and restores fertility, but the exact site or sites of leptin action are unclear. Here, we found that genetic deletion of LepR selectively from hypothalamic Kiss1 neurons in mice had no effect on puberty or fertility, indicating that direct leptin signaling in Kiss1 neurons is not required for these processes. However, bilateral lesions of the ventral premammillary nucleus (PMV) of ob/ob mice blunted the ability of exogenous leptin to induce sexual maturation. Moreover, unilateral reexpression of endogenous LepR in PMV neurons was sufficient to induce puberty and improve fertility in female LepR-null mice. This LepR reexpression also normalized the increased hypothalamic GnRH content characteristic of leptin-signaling deficiency. These data suggest that the PMV is a key site for leptin's permissive action at the onset of puberty and support the hypothesis that the multiple actions of leptin to control metabolism and reproduction are anatomically dissociated.
The Journal of clinical investigation 01/2011; 121(1):355-68. · 15.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The central actions of leptin are essential for homeostatic control of adipose tissue mass, glucose metabolism, and many autonomic and neuroendocrine systems. In the brain, leptin acts on numerous different cell types via the long-form leptin receptor (LepRb) to elicit its effects. The precise identification of leptin's cellular targets is fundamental to understanding the mechanism of its pleiotropic central actions. We have systematically characterized LepRb distribution in the mouse brain using in situ hybridization in wildtype mice as well as by EYFP immunoreactivity in a novel LepRb-IRES-Cre EYFP reporter mouse line showing high levels of LepRb mRNA/EYFP coexpression. We found substantial LepRb mRNA and EYFP expression in hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic sites described before, including the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus, ventral premammillary nucleus, ventral tegmental area, parabrachial nucleus, and the dorsal vagal complex. Expression in insular cortex, lateral septal nucleus, medial preoptic area, rostral linear nucleus, and in the Edinger-Westphal nucleus was also observed and had been previously unreported. The LepRb-IRES-Cre reporter line was used to chemically characterize a population of leptin receptor-expressing neurons in the midbrain. Tyrosine hydroxylase and Cre reporter were found to be coexpressed in the ventral tegmental area and in other midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Lastly, the LepRb-IRES-Cre reporter line was used to map the extent of peripheral leptin sensing by central nervous system (CNS) LepRb neurons. Thus, we provide data supporting the use of the LepRb-IRES-Cre line for the assessment of the anatomic and functional characteristics of neurons expressing leptin receptor.
The Journal of Comparative Neurology 03/2009; 514(5):518-32. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ghrelin is the endogenous ligand for the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR; ghrelin receptor). Since its discovery, accumulating evidence has suggested that ghrelin may play a role in signaling and reversing states of energy insufficiency. For example, ghrelin levels rise following food deprivation, and ghrelin administration stimulates feeding and increases body weight and adiposity. However, recent loss-of-function studies have raised questions regarding the physiological significance of ghrelin in regulating these processes. Here, we present results of a study using a novel GHSR-null mouse model, in which ghrelin administration fails to acutely stimulate food intake or activate arcuate nucleus neurons. We show that when fed a high-fat diet, both female and male GHSR-null mice eat less food, store less of their consumed calories, preferentially utilize fat as an energy substrate, and accumulate less body weight and adiposity than control mice. Similar effects on body weight and adiposity were also observed in female, but not male, GHSR-null mice fed standard chow. GHSR deletion also affected locomotor activity and levels of glycemia. These findings support the hypothesis that ghrelin-responsive pathways are an important component of coordinated body weight control. Moreover, our data suggest that ghrelin signaling is required for development of the full phenotype of diet-induced obesity.
Journal of Clinical Investigation 01/2006; 115(12):3564-72. · 12.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple lines of research provide compelling support for an important role for central serotonergic (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and melanocortin pathways in the regulation of food intake and body weight. In this brief review, we outline data supporting a model in which serotonergic pathways affect energy balance, in part, by converging upon central melanocortin systems to stimulate the release of the endogenous melanocortin agonist, alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). Further, we review the neuroanatomical mapping of a downstream target of alpha-MSH, the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), in the rodent brain. We propose that downstream activation of MC4R-expressing neurons substantially contributes to serotonin's effects on energy homeostasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In rats, central administration of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) elicits symptoms of visceral illness like those caused by the toxin lithium chloride (LiCl), including anorexia, conditioned taste aversion (CTA) formation, and neural activation in the hypothalamus and hindbrain including activation of brainstem preproglucagon cells. Most compellingly, pharmacological antagonists of the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) block several effects of LiCl in rat. The major goal of these experiments was to further test the hypothesis that the central nervous system GLP-1 system is critical to the visceral illness actions of LiCl by using mice with a targeted disruption of the only described GLP-1R. First, we observed that, like the rat, LiCl activates preproglucagon neurons in wild-type mice. Second, GLP-1R -/- mice demonstrated normal anorexic and CTA responses to LiCl. To test the possibility that alternate GLP-1Rs mediate aversive effects, we examined the ability of GLP-1 to produce a CTA in GLP1R -/- mice. Although lateral ventricular GLP-1 produced a CTA in wild-type mice, it did not produce a CTA in GLP-1R -/- mice. Furthermore, the same GLP-1R antagonist that can block the aversive effects of LiCl in the rat failed to do so in the mouse. These results support the conclusion that in mouse, unlike in rat, GLP-1R signaling is not required for the visceral illness response to LiCl. Such species differences are an important consideration when comparing results from rat and mouse studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammalian cloning using somatic cells has been accomplished successfully in several species, and its potential basic, clinical and therapeutic applications are being pursued on many fronts. Determining the long-term effects of cloning on offspring is crucial for consideration of future application of the technique. Although full-term development of animals cloned from adult somatic cells has been reported, problems in the resulting progeny indicate that the cloning procedure may not produce animals that are phenotypically identical to their cell donor. We used a mouse model to take advantage of its short generation time and lifespan. Here we report that the increased body weight of cloned B6C3F1 female mice reflects an increase of body fat in addition to a larger body size, and that these mice share many characteristics consistent with obesity. We also show that the obese phenotype is not transmitted to offspring generated by mating male and female cloned mice.
Nature Medicine 04/2002; 8(3):262-7. · 22.86 Impact Factor