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      Regulation of Hypothalamic Proopiomelanocortin by Leptin in Lean and Obese Rats

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          Abstract

          The mechanisms by which leptin influences energy homeostasis are not entirely understood. Several observations indicate that proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is involved in the regulation of food intake and may be a mediator of leptin action. To further study this interaction, a sensitive solution hybridization assay was used to compare the levels of POMC mRNA in the medial basal hypothalamus (MBH) of lean (+/+, +/ fa<sup>f</sup>) and obese leptin receptor-deficient (fa<sup>f</sup>/fa<sup>f</sup>) rats. POMC peptide products were also measured by RIA in the same animals. Cytoplasmic POMC RNA levels were significantly reduced by 53% in obese rats as compared with lean controls: 0.30 ± 0.04 vs. 0.64 ± 0.07 pg/µg total RNA (p < 0.02). Significant reductions in mean concentrations of hypothalamic POMC-derived peptides from the same dissections were detected in the obese rats vs. lean controls: α-MSH 1.77 ± 0.07 vs. 2.34 ± 0.10; β-EP 4.06 ± 0.24 vs. 5.86 ± 0.36; γ<sub>3</sub>-MSH 5.32 ± 0.20 vs. 6.52 ± 0.12 ng/mg protein (p < 0.001). To determine whether leptin stimulates POMC gene transcription, the acute effect of an intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injection of leptin (5 µg) on POMC primary transcript was quantified in the MBH of lean rats after a 16-hour fast. There was a significant 167% increase in mean POMC hnRNA levels 3 h after i.c.v. leptin injection (1.15 ± 0.22 pg/MBH; p < 0.02), but not after 1 h (0.76 ± 0.08 pg/MBH), compared to saline controls (0.69 ± 0.08 pg/MBH). 4 h after the injection of leptin, POMC hnRNA was still increased, but to a lesser extent (140%), as compared with control animals (p = 0.006). These studies demonstrate for the first time in the leptin receptor-deficient rat that there is an associated decrease in POMC gene expression and peptide levels in the MBH. Furthermore, the acute increase in the levels of POMC primary transcript in non-obese rats after a single i.c.v. injection of leptin supports a role for leptin in the regulation of POMC gene transcription. Taken together, these studies provide further evidence that POMC is an important mediator of the effects of leptin on food intake and energy expenditure.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Agouti protein is an antagonist of the melanocyte-stimulating-hormone receptor.

          The genetic loci agouti and extension control the relative amounts of eumelanin (brown-black) and phaeomelanin (yellow-red) pigments in mammals: extension encodes the receptor for melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) and agouti encodes a novel 131-amino-acid protein containing a signal sequence. Agouti, which is produced in the hair follicle, acts on follicular melanocytes to inhibit alpha-MSH-induced eumelanin production, resulting in the subterminal band of phaeomelanin often visible in mammalian fur. Here we use partially purified agouti protein to demonstrate that agouti is a high-affinity antagonist of the MSH receptor and blocks alpha-MSH stimulation of adenylyl cyclase, the effector through which alpha-MSH induces eumelanin synthesis. Agouti was also found to be an antagonist of the melanocortin-4 receptor, a related MSH-binding receptor. Consequently, the obesity caused by ectopic expression of agouti in the lethal yellow (Ay) mouse may be due to the inhibition of melanocortin receptor(s) outside the hair follicle.
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            Design and synthesis of multi-haem proteins.

            A water-soluble, 62-residue, di-alpha-helical peptide has been synthesized which accommodates two bis-histidyl haem groups. The peptide assembles into a four-helix dimer with 2-fold symmetry and four parallel haems that closely resemble native haems in their spectral and electrochemical properties, including haem-haem redox interaction. This protein is an essential intermediate in the synthesis of molecular 'maquettes', a novel class of simplified versions of the metalloproteins involved in redox catalysis and in energy conversion in respiratory and photosynthetic electron transfer.
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              Antagonism of Central Melanocortin Receptors in Vitro and in Vivo by Agouti-Related Protein

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                1999
                December 1999
                24 December 1999
                : 70
                : 6
                : 377-383
                Affiliations
                Departments of aMedicine and bPediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians& Surgeons, New York, N.Y., and cDepartment of Biology, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie,N.Y., USA
                Article
                54499 Neuroendocrinology 1999;70:377–383
                10.1159/000054499
                10657730
                © 1999 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: 5, References: 45, Pages: 7
                Categories
                Regulation of Hypothalamic Neurons

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