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Neurosci Lett. 2010 Jul 19;479(1):18-21. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.05.018. Epub 2010 May 13.

A role of phosphodiesterase-3B pathway in mediating leptin action on proopiomelanocortin and neurotensin neurons in the hypothalamus.

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Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Leptin signaling in the hypothalamus is required for normal food intake and body weight homeostasis. Recent evidence suggests that besides the signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) pathway, several non-STAT3 pathways mediate leptin signaling in the hypothalamus. We have previously demonstrated that leptin stimulates phosphodiesterase-3B (PDE3B) activity in the hypothalamus, and PDE3 inhibitor cilostamide reverses anorectic and body weight reducing effects of leptin. To establish the physiological role of PDE3B signaling in the hypothalamus, we examined if leptin signaling through the PDE3B pathway is responsible for the activation of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and neurotensin (NT) neurons, which are known to play a critical role in energy homeostasis. To this end, we assessed the effect of cilostamide on leptin-induced POMC and NT gene expression in the rat hypothalamus. Results showed that while central injection of leptin significantly increased both POMC and NT mRNA levels in the medial basal hypothalamus, cilostamide completely reversed this effect of leptin suggesting a PDE3B-activation dependent induction of POMC and NT gene expression by leptin. This result further suggests that the PDE3B pathway plays an important role in mediating leptin action in the hypothalamus.

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