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      Hypothalamic Gene Expression in Sheep for Cocaine- and Amphetamine-Regulated Transcript, Pro-Opiomelanocortin, Neuropeptide Y, Agouti-Related Peptide and Leptin Receptor and Responses to Negative Energy Balance

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          Abstract

          Hypothalamic pathways involved in the regulation of energy balance have not been widely studied in ruminants to date. Here, we used in situ hybridisation to study the gene expression of a number of leptin-sensitive receptors and neuropeptides in the ovine hypothalamus. Gene expression was first localised for cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and agouti-related peptide (AGRP). We then examined in adult male castrated sheep the effects of acute negative energy balance induced by a 4-day fast on the amounts of these mRNAs and those for leptin receptor (OB-Rb), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC). CART mRNA was localised in the arcuate nucleus (ARC), paraventricular nucleus, median eminence and ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus, and extensive co-localisation with POMC mRNA was demonstrated in the ARC. AGRP mRNA was localised in the ARC. Fasting up-regulated gene expression for OB-Rb and for the orexigenic neuropeptides NPY and AGRP in the ARC. There was a trend towards down-regulation of gene expression for the anorexigenic neuropeptide CART and no effect on POMC in the ARC, although these results are inconclusive. The presence or absence of oestradiol-containing subcutaneous implants did not influence gene expression or the effects of fasting. The hypothalamic changes were consistent with responses to the observed reduction in circulation leptin and suggest that the peripheral feedback and central mechanisms for restoring the energy balance may be largely conserved across monogastric and ruminant species.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Leptin.

          The discovery of the adipose-derived hormone leptin has generated enormous interest in the interaction between peripheral signals and brain targets involved in the regulation of feeding and energy balance. Plasma leptin levels correlate with fat stores and respond to changes in energy balance. It was initially proposed that leptin serves a primary role as an anti-obesity hormone, but this role is commonly thwarted by leptin resistance. Leptin also serves as a mediator of the adaptation to fasting, and this role may be the primary function for which the molecule evolved. There is increasing evidence that leptin has systemic effects apart from those related to energy homeostasis, including regulation of neuroendocrine and immune function and a role in development.
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            Hypothalamic CART is a new anorectic peptide regulated by leptin.

             N Vrang,  L Thim,  U Ribel (1998)
            The mammalian hypothalamus strongly influences ingestive behaviour through several different signalling molecules and receptor systems. Here we show that CART (cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript), a brain-located peptide, is a satiety factor and is closely associated with the actions of two important regulators of food intake, leptin and neuropeptide Y. Food-deprived animals show a pronounced decrease in expression of CART messenger RNA in the arcuate nucleus. In animal models of obesity with disrupted leptin signalling, CART mRNA is almost absent from the arcuate nucleus. Peripheral administration of leptin to obese mice stimulates CART mRNA expression. When injected intracerebroventricularly into rats, recombinant CART peptide inhibits both normal and starvation-induced feeding, and completely blocks the feeding response induced by neuropeptide Y. An antiserum against CART increases feeding in normal rats, indicating that CART may be an endogenous inhibitor of food intake in normal animals.
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              Leptin activates hypothalamic CART neurons projecting to the spinal cord.

              The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin decreases body weight in part by activating the sympathetic nervous system, resulting in increased thermogenesis and energy expenditure. We investigated hypothalamic pathways underlying leptin's effects on stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. We found that leptin activates neurons in the retrochiasmatic area (RCA) and lateral arcuate nucleus (Arc) that innervate the thoracic spinal cord and also contain cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART). We also found that most CART-containing neurons in the RCA and Arc of the hypothalamus also contain proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA. The finding that leptin activates CART/POMC neurons innervating sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the thoracic spinal cord suggests that this pathway may contribute to the increased thermogenesis and energy expenditure and decreased body weight observed following leptin administration.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                2002
                April 2002
                17 April 2002
                : 75
                : 4
                : 250-256
                Affiliations
                Molecular Neuroendocrinology Group, Appetite and Energy Balance Division, Aberdeen Centre for Energy Regulation and Obesity, Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
                Article
                54716 Neuroendocrinology 2002;75:250–256
                10.1159/000054716
                11979055
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 33, Pages: 7
                Categories
                Leptin and Food Intake Behaviour

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