Hypothalamic glucagon signals through the KATP channels to regulate glucose production

Mol Metab. 2013 Nov 28;3(2):202-8. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2013.11.007. eCollection 2014 Apr.


Insulin, leptin and GLP-1 signal in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) to lower hepatic glucose production (GP). MBH glucagon action also inhibits GP but the downstream signaling mediators remain largely unknown. In parallel, a lipid-sensing pathway involving MBH AMPK→malonyl-CoA→CPT-1→LCFA-CoA→PKC-δ leading to the activation of KATP channels lowers GP. Given that glucagon signals through the MBH PKA to lower GP, and PKA inhibits AMPK in hypothalamic cell lines, a possibility arises that MBH glucagon-PKA inhibits AMPK, elevates LCFA-CoA levels to activate PKC-δ, and activates KATP channels to lower GP. We here report that neither molecular or chemical activation of MBH AMPK nor inhibition of PKC-δ negated the effect of MBH glucagon. In contrast, molecular and chemical inhibition of MBH KATP channels negated MBH glucagon's effect to lower GP. Thus, MBH glucagon signals through a lipid-sensing independent but KATP channel-dependent pathway to regulate GP.

Keywords: Glucagon; Glucose production; Hypothalamus; KATP channels.