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J Biol Chem. 2004 May 7;279(19):19970-6. Epub 2004 Mar 17.

C75, a fatty acid synthase inhibitor, reduces food intake via hypothalamic AMP-activated protein kinase.

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Department of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Energy homeostasis and feeding are regulated by the central nervous system. C75, a fatty acid synthase (FAS) inhibitor, causes weight loss and anorexia, implying a novel central nervous system pathway(s) for sensing energy balance. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a sensor of peripheral energy balance, is phosphorylated and activated when energy sources are low. Here, we identify a role for hypothalamic AMPK in the regulation of feeding behavior and in mediating the anorexic effects of C75. 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-1-beta-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR), an activator of AMPK, increased food intake, whereas compound C, an inhibitor of AMPK, decreased food intake. C75 rapidly reduced the level of the phosphorylated AMPK alpha subunit (pAMPKalpha) in the hypothalamus, even in fasted mice that had elevated hypothalamic pAMPKalpha levels. Furthermore, AICAR reversed both the C75-induced anorexia and the decrease in hypothalamic pAMPKalpha levels. C75 elevated hypothalamic neuronal ATP levels, which may contribute to the mechanism by which C75 decreased AMPK activity. C75 reduced the levels of pAMPKalpha and phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB) in the arcuate nucleus neurons of the hypothalamus, suggesting a mechanism for the reduction in NPY expression seen with C75 treatment. These data indicate that modulation of FAS activity in the hypothalamus can alter energy perception via AMPK, which functions as a physiological energy sensor in the hypothalamus.

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