DREADDs (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by a Designer Drug) are designer G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that are widely used in the neuroscience field to modulate neuronal activity. In this review, we will focus on DREADD studies carried out with genetically engineered mice aimed at elucidating signaling pathways important for maintaining proper glucose and energy homeostasis. The availability of muscarinic receptor-based DREADDs endowed with selectivity for one of the four major classes of heterotrimeric G proteins (Gs , Gi , Gq , and G12 ) has been instrumental in dissecting the physiological and pathophysiological roles of distinct G protein signaling pathways in metabolically important cell types. The novel insights gained from this work should inform the development of novel classes of drugs useful for the treatment of several metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Keywords: DREADD technology; G protein-coupled receptors; G proteins; mutant mouse models; obesity; type 2 diabetes.
© Published 2021. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.