Obesity and metabolic syndrome reflect the dysregulation of molecular pathways that control energy homeostasis. Here, we show that the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) controls energy expenditure in obese mice on a high-fat diet (HFD). Despite no changes in food intake, p75(NTR)-null mice were protected from HFD-induced obesity and remained lean as a result of increased energy expenditure without developing insulin resistance or liver steatosis. p75(NTR) directly interacts with the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A (PKA) and regulates cAMP signaling in adipocytes, leading to decreased lipolysis and thermogenesis. Adipocyte-specific depletion of p75(NTR) or transplantation of p75(NTR)-null white adipose tissue (WAT) into wild-type mice fed a HFD protected against weight gain and insulin resistance. Our results reveal that signaling from p75(NTR) to cAMP/PKA regulates energy balance and suggest that non-CNS neurotrophin receptor signaling could be a target for treating obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.