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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Apr 1;304(7):E677-85. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00446.2012. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Central glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor-induced anorexia requires glucose metabolism-mediated suppression of AMPK and is impaired by central fructose.

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Diabetes and Obesity Research Center, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona, Orlando, FL 32827, USA.


Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) suppresses food intake via activation of a central (i.e., brain) GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R). Central AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a nutrient-sensitive regulator of food intake that is inhibited by anorectic signals. The anorectic effect elicited by hindbrain GLP-1R activation is attenuated by the AMPK stimulator AICAR. This suggests that central GLP-1R activation suppresses food intake via inhibition of central AMPK. The present studies examined the mechanism(s) by which central GLP-1R activation inhibits AMPK. Supporting previous findings, AICAR attenuated the anorectic effect elicited by intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of the GLP-1R agonist exendin-4 (Ex-4). We demonstrate that Ex-4 stimulates glycolysis and suppresses AMPK phosphorylation in a glucose-dependent manner in hypothalamic GT1-7 cells. This suggests that inhibition of AMPK and food intake by Ex-4 requires central glucose metabolism. Supporting this, the glycolytic inhibitor 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) attenuated the anorectic effect of Ex-4. However, icv glucose did not enhance the suppression of food intake by Ex-4. AICAR had no effect on Ex-4-mediated reduction in locomotor activity. We also tested whether other carbohydrates affect the anorectic response to Ex-4. Intracerebroventricular pretreatment with the sucrose metabolite fructose, an AMPK activator, attenuated the anorectic effect of Ex-4. This potentially explains the increased food intake observed in sucrose-fed mice. In summary, we propose a model whereby activation of the central GLP-1R reduces food intake via glucose metabolism-dependent inhibition of central AMPK. We also suggest that fructose stimulates food intake by impairing central GLP-1R action. This has significant implications given the correlation between sugar consumption and obesity.

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