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      Adipokine Gene Expression in Brain and Pituitary Gland

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          The brain has been recognized as a prominent site of peptide biosynthesis for more than 30 years, and many neuropeptides are now known to be common to gut and brain. With these precedents in mind it is remarkable that adipose-derived peptides like leptin have attracted minimal attention as brain-derived putative neuromodulators of energy balance. This review outlines the evidence that several adipose-specific genes are also expressed in the central nervous system and pituitary gland. We, and others, confirmed that the genes for leptin, resistin, adiponectin, FIAF (fasting-induced adipose factor) and adiponutrin are expressed and regulated in these tissues. For example, leptin mRNA was readily detectable in human, rat, sheep and pig brain, but not in the mouse. Leptin expression in rat brain and pituitary was regulated through development, by food restriction, and following traumatic brain injury. In contrast, hypothalamic resistin mRNA was unaffected by age or by fasting, but was significantly depleted by food restriction in mouse pituitary gland. Similar results were seen in the ob/ob mouse, and we noted a marked reduction in resistin-positive hypothalamic nerve fibres. Resistin and fiaf mRNA were also upregulated in hypoxic/ischaemic mouse brain. Our studies on the regulation of neuronal adipokines were greatly aided by the availability of clonal hypothalamic neuronal cell lines. One of these, N-1, expresses both rstn and fiaf together with several other neuropeptides and receptors involved in energy homeostasis. Selective silencing of rstn revealed an autocrine/paracrine regulatory system, mediated through socs-3 expression that may influence the feedback effects of insulin and leptin in vivo. A similar convergence of signals in the pituitary gland could also influence anterior pituitary hormone secretion. In conclusion, the evidence is suggestive that brain and pituitary-derived adipokines represent a local regulatory circuit that may fine tune the feedback effects of adipose hormones in the control of energy balance.

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          Cloning of adiponectin receptors that mediate antidiabetic metabolic effects.

          Adiponectin (also known as 30-kDa adipocyte complement-related protein; Acrp30) is a hormone secreted by adipocytes that acts as an antidiabetic and anti-atherogenic adipokine. Levels of adiponectin in the blood are decreased under conditions of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Administration of adiponectin causes glucose-lowering effects and ameliorates insulin resistance in mice. Conversely, adiponectin-deficient mice exhibit insulin resistance and diabetes. This insulin-sensitizing effect of adiponectin seems to be mediated by an increase in fatty-acid oxidation through activation of AMP kinase and PPAR-alpha. Here we report the cloning of complementary DNAs encoding adiponectin receptors 1 and 2 (AdipoR1 and AdipoR2) by expression cloning. AdipoR1 is abundantly expressed in skeletal muscle, whereas AdipoR2 is predominantly expressed in the liver. These two adiponectin receptors are predicted to contain seven transmembrane domains, but to be structurally and functionally distinct from G-protein-coupled receptors. Expression of AdipoR1/R2 or suppression of AdipoR1/R2 expression by small-interfering RNA supports our conclusion that they serve as receptors for globular and full-length adiponectin, and that they mediate increased AMP kinase and PPAR-alpha ligand activities, as well as fatty-acid oxidation and glucose uptake by adiponectin.
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            Visfatin: a protein secreted by visceral fat that mimics the effects of insulin.

            Fat tissue produces a variety of secreted proteins (adipocytokines) with important roles in metabolism. We isolated a newly identified adipocytokine, visfatin, that is highly enriched in the visceral fat of both humans and mice and whose expression level in plasma increases during the development of obesity. Visfatin corresponds to a protein identified previously as pre-B cell colony-enhancing factor (PBEF), a 52-kilodalton cytokine expressed in lymphocytes. Visfatin exerted insulin-mimetic effects in cultured cells and lowered plasma glucose levels in mice. Mice heterozygous for a targeted mutation in the visfatin gene had modestly higher levels of plasma glucose relative to wild-type littermates. Surprisingly, visfatin binds to and activates the insulin receptor. Further study of visfatin's physiological role may lead to new insights into glucose homeostasis and/or new therapies for metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
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              Adiponectin acts in the brain to decrease body weight.

              Adiponectin (ADP) is an adipocyte hormone involved in glucose and lipid metabolism. We detected a rise in ADP in cerebrospinal fluid after intravenous (i.v.) injection, consistent with brain transport. In contrast to leptin, intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of ADP decreased body weight mainly by stimulating energy expenditure. Full-length ADP, mutant ADP with Cys39 replaced with serine, and globular ADP were effective, whereas the collagenous tail fragment was not. Lep(ob/ob) mice were especially sensitive to i.c.v. and systemic ADP, which resulted in increased thermogenesis, weight loss and reduction in serum glucose and lipid levels. ADP also potentiated the effect of leptin on thermogenesis and lipid levels. While both hormones increased expression of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), ADP had no substantial effect on other neuropeptide targets of leptin. In addition, ADP induced distinct Fos immunoreactivity. Agouti (A(y)/a) mice did not respond to ADP or leptin, indicating the melanocortin pathway may be a common target. These results show that ADP has unique central effects on energy homeostasis.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                November 2007
                19 September 2007
                : 86
                : 3
                : 191-209
                Departments of aObstetrics and Gynaecology, bPhysiology and Biophysics, and cDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S., Canada
                108635 Neuroendocrinology 2007;86:191–209
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 1, References: 172, Pages: 19


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