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Leptin receptor activity in the nucleus of the solitary tract increases forebrain leptin sensitivity

Harris RB (2019) Leptin receptor activity in the nucleus of the solitary tract increases forebrain leptin sensitivity. Neuroscience 2019 Abstracts 591.04. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.

Summary: We previously reported that fourth ventricle infusions of leptin that cause weight loss are associated with an increase in hypothalamic phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (pSTAT3), a marker of leptin receptor (ObRb) activation, implying an integrated response to central leptin. This study tested the impact of ObRb activity in the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) on sensitivity to leptin in the forebrain. Leptin-Saporin (Lep-Sap) injections were used to delete ObR- expressing neurons in the NTS of 300g male Sprague Dawley rats. Controls were injected with Blank-Saporin (Blk-Sap). Loss of NTS ObR was confirmed with RNAScope in situ hybridization and pSTAT3 response to peripheral leptin in representative Lep- Sap rats. Experimental rats were fitted with 3rd ventricle (3V) guide cannula 12 days after Lep-Sap or Blk-Sap injections. Nine days later cannula placement was tested with Angiotensin II and rats were adapted to calorimeter cages for 4 days. Lep-Sap had no effect on body weight. To test leptin responsiveness rats were food deprived for 5 hours and at 5 p.m. they received 3V injections of 0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.25 or 0.5 μg leptin. Food was returned at 6 p.m., the start of the dark period. Each rat received the injections in random order at 4 day intervals. At the end of the experiment NTS pSTAT3 was used to confirm effcacy of Lep-Sap injections. Seven Lep-Sap and 6 control Blk-Sap rats completed the experiment. There was a dose-dependent inhibition of food intake in Blk-Sap rats, but only 0.5 μg leptin inhibited intake of Lep-Sap rats. Intake was inhibited during the 24 hours following injection and was not compensated for so that cumulative intake was inhibited for 60 hours post-injection. Energy expenditure was not different between groups and respiratory exchange ratio tended to follow food intake. These data suggest that leptin- induced inhibition of food intake is mediated by an integrated network involving both the forebrain and hindbrain and that activation of NTS ObRb lowers the threshold for leptin responsiveness in the forebrain.

Related Products: Leptin-SAP (Cat. #IT-47)