Orexigenic agouti-related protein/neuropeptide Y (Agrp/NPY) neurons and an orexigenic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons of the hypothalamus regulate feeding behavior and energy homeostasis. An understanding of the molecular signaling pathways that regulate Agrp/NPY and POMC function could lead to novel treatments for metabolic disorders. Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (TORC1) is a nutrient-activated protein kinase and central controller of growth and metabolism. We therefore investigated the role of mammalian TORC1 (mTORC1) in Agrp neurons. We generated and characterized Agrp neuron-specific raptor knockout (Agrp-raptor KO) mice. Agrp-raptor KO mice displayed reduced, non-circadian expression of Agrp and NPY but normal feeding behavior and energy homeostasis on both normal and high fat diet. Thus, mTORC1 in Agrp neurons controls circadian expression of orexigenic neuropeptides but is dispensable for the regulation of feeding behavior and energy metabolism.
Keywords: Agrp; Hypothalamus; Metabolism; NPY; Raptor; mTORC1.
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