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J Physiol. 2009 May 15;587(Pt 10):2341-51. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2009.170050. Epub 2009 Mar 30.

Inhibition of hypothalamic Foxo1 expression reduced food intake in diet-induced obesity rats.

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  • 1Departamento de Clínica Médica, FCM, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, SP, Brazil.

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Abstract

Insulin signalling in the hypothalamus plays a role in maintaining body weight. The forkhead transcription factor Foxo1 is an important mediator of insulin signalling in the hypothalamus. Foxo1 stimulates the transcription of the orexigenic neuropeptide Y and Agouti-related protein through the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt signalling pathway, but the role of hypothalamic Foxo1 in insulin resistance and obesity remains unclear. Here, we identify that a high-fat diet impaired insulin-induced hypothalamic Foxo1 phosphorylation and degradation, increasing the nuclear Foxo1 activity and hyperphagic response in rats. Thus, we investigated the effects of the intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) microinfusion of Foxo1-antisense oligonucleotide (Foxo1-ASO) and evaluated the food consumption and weight gain in normal and diet-induced obese (DIO) rats. Three days of Foxo1-ASO microinfusion reduced the hypothalamic Foxo1 expression by about 85%. i.c.v. infusion of Foxo1-ASO reduced the cumulative food intake (21%), body weight change (28%), epididymal fat pad weight (22%) and fasting serum insulin levels (19%) and increased the insulin sensitivity (34%) in DIO but not in control animals. Collectively, these data showed that the Foxo1-ASO treatment blocked the orexigenic effects of Foxo1 and prevented the hyperphagic response in obese rats. Thus, pharmacological manipulation of Foxo1 may be used to prevent or treat obesity.

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