Research resource: Gene profiling of G protein-coupled receptors in the arcuate nucleus of the female

Mol Endocrinol. 2014 Aug;28(8):1362-80. doi: 10.1210/me.2014-1103. Epub 2014 Jun 16.


The hypothalamic arcuate nucleus controls many critical homeostatic functions including energy homeostasis, reproduction, and motivated behavior. Although G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are involved in the regulation of these functions, relatively few of the GPCRs have been identified specifically within the arcuate nucleus. Here, using TaqMan low-density arrays we quantified the mRNA expression of nonolfactory GPCRs in mouse arcuate nucleus. An unprecedented number of GPCRs (total of 292) were found to be expressed, of which 183 were known and 109 were orphan GPCRs. The known GPCR genes expressed were classified into several functional clusters including hormone/neurotransmitter, growth factor, angiogenesis and vasoactivity, inflammation and immune system, and lipid messenger receptors. The plethora of orphan genes expressed in the arcuate nucleus were classified into 5 structure-related classes including class A (rhodopsin-like), class B (adhesion), class C (other GPCRs), nonsignaling 7-transmembrane chemokine-binding proteins, and other 7-transmembrane proteins. Therefore, for the first time, we provide a quantitative estimate of the numerous GPCRs expressed in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus. Finally, as proof of principle, we documented the expression and function of one of these receptor genes, the glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (Glp1r), which was highly expressed in the arcuate nucleus. Single-cell RT-PCR revealed that Glp1r mRNA was localized in proopiomelanocortin neurons, and using whole-cell recording we found that the glucagon-like peptide 1-selective agonist exendin-4 robustly excited proopiomelanocortin neurons. Thus, the quantitative GPCR data emphasize the complexity of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and furthermore provide a valuable resource for future neuroendocrine/endocrine-related experiments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / cytology
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Transcriptome*


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin