Leptin acts on hypothalamic neurons expressing agouti-related protein (AgRP) or pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) to suppress appetite and increase energy expenditure, but the intracellular mechanisms that modulate central leptin signalling are not fully understood. Here we show that growth factor receptor-bound protein 10 (Grb10), an adaptor protein that binds to the insulin receptor and negatively regulates its signalling pathway, can interact with the leptin receptor and enhance leptin signalling. Ablation of Grb10 in AgRP neurons promotes weight gain, while overexpression of Grb10 in AgRP neurons reduces body weight in male and female mice. In parallel, deletion or overexpression of Grb10 in POMC neurons exacerbates or attenuates diet-induced obesity, respectively. Consistent with its role in leptin signalling, Grb10 in AgRP and POMC neurons enhances the anorexic and weight-reducing actions of leptin. Grb10 also exaggerates the inhibitory effects of leptin on AgRP neurons via ATP-sensitive potassium channel-mediated currents while facilitating the excitatory drive of leptin on POMC neurons through transient receptor potential channels. Our study identifies Grb10 as a potent leptin sensitizer that contributes to the maintenance of energy homeostasis by enhancing the response of AgRP and POMC neurons to leptin.
© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.