Transgenic Neuronal Expression of Proopiomelanocortin Attenuates Hyperphagic Response to Fasting and Reverses Metabolic Impairments in Leptin-Deficient Obese Mice

Tooru M. Mizuno, Kevin A. Kelley, Giulio M. Pasinetti, James L. Roberts, Charles V. Mobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene expression is reduced in many forms of obesity and diabetes, particularly in those attributable to deficiencies in leptin or its receptor. To assess the functional significance of POMC in mediating metabolic phenotypes associated with leptin deficiency, leptin-deficient mice bearing a transgene expressing the POMC gene under control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter were produced. The POMC transgene attenuated fasting-induced hyperphagia in wild-type mice. Furthermore, the POMC transgene partially reversed obesity, hyperphagia, and hypothermia and effectively normalized hyperglycemia, glucosuria, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance in leptin-deficient mice. Effects of the POMC transgene on glucose homeostasis were independent of the partial correction of hyperphagia and obesity. Furthermore, the POMC transgene normalized the profile of hepatic and adipose gene expression associated with gluconeogenesis, glucose output, and insulin sensitivity. These results indicate that central POMC is a key modulator of glucose homeostasis and that agonists of POMC products may provide effective therapy in treating impairments in glucose homeostasis when hypothalamic POMC expression is reduced, as occurs with leptin deficiency, hypothalamic damage, and aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2675-2683
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes
Volume52
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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