Chronic low-grade inflammation and increased serum levels of the cytokine IL-6 accompany obesity. For brain-produced IL-6, the mechanisms by which it controls energy balance and its role in obesity remain unclear. Here, we show that brain-produced IL-6 is decreased in obese mice and rats in a neuroanatomically and sex-specific manner. Reduced IL-6 mRNA localized to lateral parabrachial nucleus (lPBN) astrocytes, microglia, and neurons, including paraventricular hypothalamus-innervating lPBN neurons. IL-6 microinjection into lPBN reduced food intake and increased brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis in male lean and obese rats by increasing thyroid and sympathetic outflow to BAT. Parabrachial IL-6 interacted with leptin to reduce feeding. siRNA-mediated reduction of lPBN IL-6 leads to increased weight gain and adiposity, reduced BAT thermogenesis, and increased food intake. Ambient cold exposure partly normalizes the obesity-induced suppression of lPBN IL-6. These results indicate that lPBN-produced IL-6 regulates feeding and metabolism and pinpoints (patho)physiological contexts interacting with lPBN IL-6.
Keywords: PVN; brown adipose tissue; cold exposure; diet-induced obesity; energy balance; hindbrain; lateral PBN; obesity; sex differences; thyroid.
Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.