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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 Jul;299(1):R140-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00535.2009. Epub 2010 Apr 21.

Central melanocortin stimulation increases phosphorylated perilipin A and hormone-sensitive lipase in adipose tissues.

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Department of Biology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30302-4010, USA.


Norepinephrine (NE) released from the sympathetic nerves innervating white adipose tissue (WAT) is the principal initiator of lipolysis in mammals. Central WAT sympathetic outflow neurons express melanocortin 4-receptor (MC4-R) mRNA. Single central injection of melanotan II (MTII; MC3/4-R agonist) nonuniformly increases WAT NE turnover (NETO), increases interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT) NETO, and increases the circulating lipolytic products glycerol and free fatty acid. The WAT pads that contributed to this lipolysis were inferred from the increases in NETO. Because phosphorylation of perilipin A (p-perilipin A) and hormone-sensitive lipase are necessary for NE-triggered lipolysis, we tested whether MTII would increase these intracellular markers of lipolysis. Male Siberian hamsters received a single 3rd ventricular injection of MTII or saline. Trunk blood was collected at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 h postinjection from excised inguinal, retroperitoneal, and epididymal WAT (IWAT, RWAT, and EWAT, respectively) and IBAT pads. MTII increased circulating glycerol concentrations at 0.5 and 1.0 h, whereas free fatty acid concentrations were increased at 1.0 and 2.0 h. Western blot analysis showed that MTII specifically increased p-perilipin A and hormone-sensitive lipase only in fat pads that previously had MTII-induced increases in NETO. Phosphorylation increased in IWAT at all time points and IBAT at 0.5 h, but not RWAT or EWAT at any time point. These results show for the first time in rodents that p-perilipin A can serve as an in vivo, fat pad-specific indictor of lipolysis and extend our previous findings showing that central melanocortin stimulation increases WAT lipolysis.

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