p75 Neurotrophin Receptor Regulates Energy Balance in Obesity

Cell Rep. 2016 Jan 12;14(2):255-68. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.028. Epub 2015 Dec 31.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptor, Nerve Growth Factor