Control of obesity and glucose intolerance via building neural stem cells in the hypothalamus

Mol Metab. 2014 Feb 4;3(3):313-24. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2014.01.012. eCollection 2014 Jun.


Neural stem cells (NSCs) were recently revealed to exist in the hypothalamus of adult mice. Here, following our observation showing that a partial loss of hypothalamic NSCs caused weight gain and glucose intolerance, we studied if NSCs-based cell therapy could be developed to control these disorders. While hypothalamus-implanted NSCs failed to survive in mice with obesity, NF-κB inhibition induced survival and neurogenesis of these cells, leading to effects in counteracting obesity and glucose intolerance. To generate an alternative cell source, we revealed that iPS-derived NSCs were converted into htNSCs by neuropeptide treatment. Of note, obesity condition potentiated the transfer of carotid artery-injected NSCs into the hypothalamus. These iPS-derived cells when engineered with NF-κB inhibition were also effective in reducing obesity and glucose intolerance, and neurogenesis towards POMCergic and GABAergic lineages was accountable. In conclusion, building NSCs in the hypothalamus represents a strategy for controlling obesity and glucose disorders.

Keywords: Glucose tolerance; Hypothalamus; NF-κB; Neural stem cells; Neuropeptide; Obesity; iPS.