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J Biol Chem. 2012 Sep 14;287(38):31766-82. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.387316. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Euglycemic agent-mediated hypothalamic transcriptomic manipulation in the N171-82Q model of Huntington disease is related to their physiological efficacy.

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  • 1Metabolism Unit, NIA, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA. martinbro@mail.nih.gov


Our aim was to employ novel analytical methods to investigate the therapeutic treatment of the energy regulation dysfunction occurring in a Huntington disease (HD) mouse model. HD is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive motor impairment and cognitive alterations. Changes in neuroendocrine function, body weight, energy metabolism, euglycemia, appetite function, and gut function can also occur. It is likely that the locus of these alterations is the hypothalamus. We determined the effects of three different euglycemic agents on HD progression using standard physiological and transcriptomic signature analyses. N171-82Q HD mice were treated with insulin, Exendin-4, and the newly developed GLP-1-Tf to determine whether these agents could improve energy regulation and delay disease progression. Blood glucose, insulin, metabolic hormone levels, and pancreatic morphology were assessed. Hypothalamic gene transcription, motor coordination, and life span were also determined. The N171-82Q mice exhibited significant alterations in hypothalamic gene transcription signatures and energy metabolism that were ameliorated, to varying degrees, by the different euglycemic agents. Exendin-4 or GLP-1-Tf (but not insulin) treatment also improved pancreatic morphology, motor coordination, and increased life span. Using hypothalamic transcription signature analyses, we found that the physiological efficacy variation of the drugs was evident in the degree of reversal of the hypothalamic HD pathological signature. Euglycemic agents targeting hypothalamic and energy regulation dysfunction in HD could potentially alter disease progression and improve quality of life in HD.

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