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      Food Intake-Induced Leptin Secretion Modulates Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Response and Hypothalamic Ob-Rb Expression to Insulin Administration

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          The mutation of the ob gene is known to induce a phenotype of obesity accompanied by symptoms including enhanced production of glucocorticoid. Chronic administration to ob/ob mice of leptin, the ob gene product, reverses hypercorticosteronemia. This establishes a clear relation between adipocyte and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functions. In the present study we investigated the acute modulatory effects of food intake-stimulated leptin secretion on HPA axis activity and hypothalamic leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) expression in 24-hour fasting, adult female, BALB/c mice after insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Our results indicate that: (1) food supply for 45 min to 24-hour fasting mice increased plasma glucose levels and reversed both hypercorticosteronemia and hypoleptinemia; (2) the insulin-induced hypoglycemia produced a marked HPA axis activation in animals with no access to food but this response was fully prevented by food intake and the consecutive increase in plasma leptin levels; (3) the inhibitory effect of leptin on the HPA axis response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia was corroborated by i.p. administration of murine leptin, and (4) fasting-induced hypothalamic Ob-Rb overexpression is not modulated by insulin itself but by leptin, since increase in leptin levels by food intake or by administration of exogenous leptin completely reversed this Ob-Rb overexpression. These results confirm the inhibitory effect of leptin on the HPA axis response to various stress stimuli. They clearly demonstrate that acute food intake in 24-hour fasting mice: (a) rapidly reduced fasting-induced hypercorticosteronemia by enhancing both spontaneous and insulin-elicited endogenous leptin secretion; (b) fully prevented HPA axis response to insulin administration, by rapidly increasing endogenous leptin secretion and probably also by diminishing the extent and the duration of insulin-induced hypoglycemia, and (c) abolished hypothalamic Ob-Rb overexpression induced by fasting itself combined with insulin treatment. The present data strongly suggests an inhibitory effect of endogenous leptin on insulin-induced HPA axis response, an interaction relevant to the physiological adaptation to starvation and caloric excess, and further supports the pivotal role played by the hypothalamus in restoring homeostasis in different allostatic states.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform extraction.

          A new method of total RNA isolation by a single extraction with an acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform mixture is described. The method provides a pure preparation of undegraded RNA in high yield and can be completed within 4 h. It is particularly useful for processing large numbers of samples and for isolation of RNA from minute quantities of cells or tissue samples.
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            Identification and expression cloning of a leptin receptor, OB-R.

            The ob gene product, leptin, is an important circulating signal for the regulation of body weight. To identify high affinity leptin-binding sites, we generated a series of leptin-alkaline phosphatase (AP) fusion proteins as well as [125I]leptin. After a binding survey of cell lines and tissues, we identified leptin-binding sites in the mouse choroid plexus. A cDNA expression library was prepared from mouse choroid plexus and screened with a leptin-AP fusion protein to identify a leptin receptor (OB-R). OB-R is a single membrane-spanning receptor most related to the gp130 signal-transducing component of the IL-6 receptor, the G-CSF receptor, and the LIF receptor. OB-R mRNA is expressed not only in choroid plexus, but also in several other tissues, including hypothalamus. Genetic mapping of the gene encoding OB-R shows that it is within the 5.1 cM interval of mouse chromosome 4 that contains the db locus.
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              Abnormal splicing of the leptin receptor in diabetic mice.

              Mutations in the mouse diabetes (db) gene result in obesity and diabetes in a syndrome resembling morbid human obesity. Previous data suggest that the db gene encodes the receptor for the obese (ob) gene product, leptin. A leptin receptor was recently cloned from choroid plexus and shown to map to the same 6-cM interval on mouse chromosome 4 as db. This receptor maps to the same 300-kilobase interval as db, and has at least six alternatively spliced forms. One of these splice variants is expressed at a high level in the hypothalamus, and is abnormally spliced in C57BL/Ks db/db mice. The mutant protein is missing the cytoplasmic region, and is likely to be defective in signal transduction. This suggests that the weight-reducing effects of leptin may be mediated by signal transduction through a leptin receptor in the hypothalamus.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                December 2000
                22 December 2000
                : 72
                : 6
                : 341-349
                aNeuroendocrine Unit, Multidisciplinary Institute on Cell Biology (CIC-CONICET) and bSchool of Exact Sciences (UNLP), La Plata, Argentina; cDivision of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism, University Hospital (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland
                54603 Neuroendocrinology 2000;72:341–349
                © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, References: 45, Pages: 9
                Regulation of Growth Hormone and Food Intake


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