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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Mar 15;102(11):3972-7. Epub 2005 Feb 23.

Effect of centrally administered C75, a fatty acid synthase inhibitor, on ghrelin secretion and its downstream effects.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


The central administration of the fatty acid synthase (FAS) inhibitor, C75, rapidly suppresses the expression of orexigenic neuropeptides [neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP)] and activates expression of anorexigenic neuropeptides [proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART)] in the hypothalamus. The combined actions of these changes inhibit food intake and decrease body weight. Intracerebroventricular injection of C75 appears to rapidly inhibit the secretion of ghrelin by hypothalamic explants ex vivo and by the stomach in vivo. Ghrelin administered intracerebroventricularly reverses the anorexic effect of C75, suggesting that C75 acts upstream of ghrelin. Because ghrelin-producing neurons are known to form synapses onto NPY/AgRP neurons, we suggest that the reversal of C75-induced anorexia by ghrelin may be mediated by NPY/AgRP neurons. This hypothesis is supported by the finding that ghrelin reverses the C75-induced inactivation (assessed by c-Fos expression) of neurons in the arcuate nucleus that express NPY (assessed by immunohistochemical costaining). These effects closely correlate with appropriate changes downstream in the expression of the hypothalamic neuropeptides that regulate feeding behavior, i.e., down-regulation of the expression of NPY and AgRP and up-regulation of the expression of proopiomelanocortin/alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, provoked by C75 and reversed by ghrelin. We propose a model in which ghrelin secretion plays an intermediary role between malonyl-CoA, the substrate of fatty acid synthase, and the neural circuitry regulating energy homeostasis.

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