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Insulin controls food intake and energy balance via NPY neurons


OBJECTIVES: Insulin signaling in the brain has been implicated in the control of satiety, glucose homeostasis and energy balance. However, insulin signaling is dispensable in energy homeostasis controlling AgRP or POMC neurons and it is unclear which other neurons regulate these effects. Here we describe an ancient insulin/NPY neuronal network that governs energy homeostasis across phyla. METHODS: To address the role of insulin action specifically in NPY neurons, we generated a variety of models by selectively removing insulin signaling in NPY neurons in flies and mice and testing the consequences on energy homeostasis. RESULTS: By specifically targeting the insulin receptor in both fly and mouse NPY expressing neurons, we found NPY-specific insulin signaling controls food intake and energy expenditure, and lack of insulin signaling in NPY neurons leads to increased energy stores and an obese phenotype. Additionally, the lack of insulin signaling in NPY neurons leads to a dysregulation of GH/IGF-1 axis and to altered insulin sensitivity. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these results suggest that insulin actions in NPY neurons is critical for maintaining energy balance and an impairment of this pathway may be causally linked to the development of metabolic diseases.

Type Journal
ISBN 2212-8778 (Electronic) 2212-8778 (Linking)
Authors Loh, K.; Zhang, L.; Brandon, A.; Wang, Q.; Begg, D.; Qi, Y.; Fu, M.; Kulkarni, R.; Teo, J.; Baldock, P.; Bruning, J. C.; Cooney, G.; Neely, G.; Herzog, H.
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Herbert Herzog
Publisher Name Molecular Metabolism
Published Date 2017-04-10
Published Volume 6
Published Issue 6
Published Pages 574-584
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1016/j.molmet.2017.03.013
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version