Leptin is a critical regulator of metabolism, which acts on brain receptors (Lepr) to reduce energy intake and increase energy expenditure. Some of the cellular pathways mediating leptin's anorectic actions are identified, but those mediating the thermogenic effects have proven more difficult to decipher. We define a population of neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH) containing the RFamide PrRP, which is activated by leptin. Disruption of Lepr selectively in these cells blocks thermogenic responses to leptin and causes obesity. A separate population of leptin-insensitive PrRP neurons in the brainstem is required, instead, for the satiating actions of the gut-derived hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). Global deletion of PrRP (in a loxSTOPlox-PrRP mouse) results in obesity and attenuated responses to leptin and CCK. Cre-recombinase-mediated reactivation of PrRP in brainstem rescues the anorectic actions of CCK, but reactivation in the hypothalamus is required to re-establish the thermogenic effect of leptin.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.