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Cell Metab. 2008 Dec;8(6):459-67. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2008.10.004.

Mediobasal hypothalamic p70 S6 kinase 1 modulates the control of energy homeostasis.

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Diabetes Research and Training Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


p70 S6 kinase 1 (S6K) is a major downstream effector of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), primarily implicated in the control of protein synthesis, cell growth, and proliferation. Here we demonstrate that specific bidirectional molecular targeting of mediobasal hypothalamic (MBH) S6K activity in rats is sufficient to significantly alter food intake, body weight, hypothalamic orexigenic neuropeptide expression, hypothalamic leptin sensitivity, and the metabolic and feeding responses to a fast. In addition, adenoviral-mediated constitutive activation of MBH S6K improved cold tolerance and protected against high-fat diet-induced overeating, fat deposition, and insulin resistance. Our results provide direct evidence that MBH S6K activity bidirectionally drives behavioral and metabolic determinants of energy balance and promote the assessment of MBH S6K activity as a therapeutic target in metabolic diseases.

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