Insulin receptor (InsR) signaling through transcription factor FoxO1 is important in the development of hypothalamic neuron feeding circuits, but knowledge about underlying mechanisms is limited. To investigate the role of InsR/FoxO1 signaling in the development and maintenance of these circuits, we surveyed the pool of hypothalamic neurons expressing Pomc mRNA in different mouse models of impaired hypothalamic InsR signaling. InsR ablation in the entire hypothalamus did not affect Pomc-neuron number at birth, but resulted in a 25% increase, most notably in the middle arcuate nucleus region, in young adults. Selective restoration of InsR expression in POMC neurons in these mice partly reversed the abnormality, resulting in a 10% decrease compared to age-matched controls. To establish whether FoxO1 signaling plays a role in this process, we examined POMC neuron number in mice with POMC-specific deletion of FoxO1, and detected a 23% decrease in age-matched animals, consistent with a cell-autonomous role of InsR/FoxO1 signaling in regulating POMC neuron number, distinct from its established role to activate Pomc transcription. These changes in Pomc cells occurred in the absence of marked changes in humoral factors or hypothalamic NPY neurons.