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Neuroscience. 2013 May 15;238:297-304. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.02.016. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Central PACAP mediates the sympathetic effects of leptin in a tissue-specific manner.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan.


We previously demonstrated that the peptidergic neurotransmitter pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) affects the autonomic system and contributes to the control of metabolic and cardiovascular functions. Previous studies have demonstrated the importance of centrally-mediated sympathetic effects of leptin for obesity-related hypertension. Here we tested whether PACAP signaling in the brain is implicated in leptin-induced sympathetic excitation and appetite suppression. In anesthetized mice, intracerebroventricular (ICV) pre-treatment with PACAP6-38, an antagonist of the PACAP receptors (PAC1-R and VPAC2), inhibited the increase in white adipose tissue sympathetic nerve activity (WAT-SNA) produced by ICV leptin (2μg). In contrast, leptin-induced stimulation of renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) was not affected by ICV pre-treatment with PACAP6-38. Moreover, in PACAP-deficient (Adcyap1-/-) mice, ICV leptin-induced WAT-SNA increase was impaired, whereas RSNA response was preserved. The reductions in food intake and body weight evoked by ICV leptin were attenuated in Adcyap1-/- mice. Our data suggest that hypothalamic PACAP signaling plays a key role in the control by leptin of feeding behavior and lipocatabolic sympathetic outflow, but spares the renal sympathetic traffic.

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