Molecular profile and response to energy deficit of leptin-receptor neurons in the lateral hypothalamus

Sci Rep. 2022 Aug 4;12(1):13374. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-16492-w.


Leptin exerts its effects on energy balance by inhibiting food intake and increasing energy expenditure via leptin receptors in the hypothalamus. While LepR neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus, the primary target of leptin, have been extensively studied, LepR neurons in other hypothalamic nuclei remain understudied. LepR neurons in the lateral hypothalamus contribute to leptin's effects on food intake and reward, but due to the low abundance of this population it has been difficult to study their molecular profile and responses to energy deficit. We here explore the transcriptome of LepR neurons in the LH and their response to energy deficit. Male LepR-Cre mice were injected in the LH with an AAV carrying Cre-dependent L10:GFP. Few weeks later the hypothalami from fed and food-restricted (24-h) mice were dissected and the TRAP protocol was performed, for the isolation of translating mRNAs from LepR cells in the LH, followed by RNA sequencing. After mapping and normalization, differential expression analysis was performed with DESeq2. We confirm that the isolated mRNA is enriched in LepR transcripts and other known neuropeptide markers of LepRLH neurons, of which we investigate the localization patterns in the LH. We identified novel markers of LepRLH neurons with association to energy balance and metabolic disease, such as Acvr1c, Npy1r, Itgb1, and genes that are differentially regulated by food deprivation, such as Fam46a and Rrad. Our dataset provides a reliable and extensive resource of the molecular makeup of LH LepR neurons and their response to food deprivation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics
  • Hypothalamic Area, Lateral* / metabolism
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptors, Leptin* / genetics
  • Receptors, Leptin* / metabolism


  • Leptin
  • Receptors, Leptin