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Neuroscience. 2006;139(3):1107-15. Epub 2006 Mar 29.

Induction of brain-derived neurotrophic factor by leptin in the ventromedial hypothalamus.

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1
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Wakayama Medical University, 811-1 Kimiidera, Wakayama 641-8509, Japan.

Abstract

Leptin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, reduces food intake by regulating orexigenic and anorexigenic factors in the hypothalamus. Although brain-derived neurotrophic factor is an important anorexigenic factor in the hypothalamus, little is known about the regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression by leptin in the hypothalamus. In the present study, we examined the effect of leptin on the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hypothalamus. I.V. administration of leptin (10 microg/g) led to the increase in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA, which was observed in the dorsomedial part of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. The increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA was detected in phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3-positive neurons, suggesting that leptin induced brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in neurons of the dorsomedial part of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. In addition, the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor was increased at the protein level in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus of leptin-injected mice. Interestingly, brain-derived neurotrophic factor-positive fibers also increased in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus and dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus of leptin-injected mice, which were in close apposition to tyrosine kinase receptor B-immunoreactive neurons and colocalized with synaptophysin, a marker of presynaptic terminals. These results suggest that leptin induces brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the dorsomedial part of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus and brain-derived neurotrophic factor may exert as anorexigenic factors possibly through the activation of tyrosine kinase receptor B in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus and dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus.

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