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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 11;105(10):4016-21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0800096105. Epub 2008 Feb 25.

Hypothalamic neurodegeneration and adult-onset obesity in mice lacking the Ubb polyubiquitin gene.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, Bio-X Program, and Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

Nearly all neurodegenerative diseases are associated with abnormal accumulation of ubiquitin (Ub) conjugates within neuronal inclusion bodies. To directly test the hypothesis that depletion of cellular Ub is sufficient to cause neurodegeneration, we have disrupted Ubb, one of four genes that supply Ub in the mouse. Here, we report that loss of Ubb led to a progressive degenerative disorder affecting neurons within the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. This neurodegenerative cytopathology was accompanied by impaired hypothalamic control of energy balance and adult-onset obesity. Ubb was highly expressed in vulnerable hypothalamic neurons and total Ub levels were selectively reduced in the hypothalamus of Ubb-null mice. These findings demonstrate that maintenance of adequate supplies of cellular Ub is essential for neuronal survival and establish that decreased Ub availability is sufficient to cause neuronal dysfunction and death.

PMID:
18299572
PMCID:
PMC2268782
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0800096105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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