Neuronal Deletion of Ghrelin Receptor Almost Completely Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity
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Ghrelin signaling has major effects on energy and glucose homeostasis, but it is unknown whether ghrelin's functions are centrally and/or peripherally mediated. The ghrelin receptor, growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R), is highly expressed in the brain and detectable in some peripheral tissues. To understand the roles of neuronal GHS-R, we generated a mouse line where Ghsr gene is deleted in all neurons using synapsin 1 (Syn1)-Cre driver. Our data showed that neuronal Ghsr deletion abolishes ghrelin-induced spontaneous food intake but has no effect on total energy intake. Remarkably, neuronal Ghsr deletion almost completely prevented diet-induced obesity (DIO) and significantly improved insulin sensitivity. The neuronal Ghsr-deleted mice also showed improved metabolic flexibility, indicative of better adaption to different fuels. In addition, gene expression analysis suggested that hypothalamus and/or midbrain might be the sites that mediate the effects of GHS-R in thermogenesis and physical activity, respectively. Collectively, our results indicate that neuronal GHS-R is a crucial regulator of energy metabolism and a key mediator of DIO. Neuronal Ghsr deletion protects against DIO by regulating energy expenditure, not by energy intake. These novel findings suggest that suppressing central ghrelin signaling may serve as a unique antiobesity strategy.
author list (cited authors)
Lee, J. H., Lin, L., Xu, P., Saito, K., Wei, Q., Meadows, A. G., ... Sun, Y.
complete list of authors
Lee, Jong Han||Lin, Ligen||Xu, Pingwen||Saito, Kenji||Wei, Qiong||Meadows, Adelina G||Bongmba, Odelia YN||Pradhan, Geetali||Zheng, Hui||Xu, Yong||Sun, Yuxiang