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Nat Neurosci. 2008 Sep;11(9):998-1000. doi: 10.1038/nn.2167.

Synaptic release of GABA by AgRP neurons is required for normal regulation of energy balance.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, 99 Brookline Ave., Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


The physiologic importance of GABAergic neurotransmission in hypothalamic neurocircuits is unknown. To examine the importance of GABA release from agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons (which also release AgRP and neuropeptide Y), we generated mice with an AgRP neuron-specific deletion of vesicular GABA transporter. These mice are lean, resistant to obesity and have an attenuated hyperphagic response to ghrelin. Thus, GABA release from AgRP neurons is important in regulating energy balance.

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