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Temperature dependence of the control of energy homeostasis requires CART signaling


Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) is a key neuropeptide with predominant expression in the hypothalamus central to the regulation of diverse biological processes, including food intake and energy expenditure. While there is considerable information on CART's role in the control of feeding, little is known about its thermoregulatory potential. Here we show the consequences of lack of CART signaling on major parameters of energy homeostasis in CART-/- mice under standard ambient housing (RT, 22 degrees C), which is considered a mild cold exposure for mice, and thermoneutral conditions (TN, 30 degrees C). WT mice kept at RT showed an increase in food intake, energy expenditure, BAT UCP-1 expression, and physical activity compared with TN condition, reflecting the augmented energy demand for thermogenesis at RT. On the molecular level, RT housing led to upregulated mRNA expression of TH, CRH, and TRH at the PVN, while NPY, AgRP and CART mRNA levels in the Arc were downregulated. CART-/- mice displayed elevated adiposity and diminished lean mass across both RT and TN. At RT, CART-/- mice showed unchanged food consumption yet greater body weight gain. In addition, an increase in energy expenditure and heightened BAT thermogenesis marked by UCP-1 protein expression was observed in the CART-/- mice. In contrast, TN-housed CART-/- mice exhibited lower weight gain than WT mice accompanied with pronounced reduction in basal feeding. These findings were correlated with reduced BAT temperature, but unchanged energy expenditure and UCP-1 levels. Interestingly, the respiratory exchange ratio for CART-/- mice, which shifted from lower at RT to higher at TN with respect to WT controls, indicates a transition of relative fuel source preference from fat to carbohydrate in the absence of CART signaling. Taken together, these results demonstrate that CART is a critical regulator of energy expenditure, energy partitioning and utilization dependent on the thermal environment.

Type Journal
ISBN 1532-2785 (Electronic) 0143-4179 (Linking)
Authors Lau, J. ; Shi, Y. C. ; Herzog, H.;
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Herbert Herzog
Published Date 2016-01-01
Published Volume 59
Published Pages 97-109
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version