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Cell Metab. 2015 Jul 7;22(1):175-88. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.05.008. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Discrete BDNF Neurons in the Paraventricular Hypothalamus Control Feeding and Energy Expenditure.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute Florida, Jupiter, FL 33458, USA.
2
Department of Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute Florida, Jupiter, FL 33458, USA; Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20057, USA.
3
Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20057, USA.
4
Department of Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute Florida, Jupiter, FL 33458, USA. Electronic address: bxu@scripps.edu.

Abstract

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key regulator of energy balance; however, its underlying mechanism remains unknown. By analyzing BDNF-expressing neurons in paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH), we have uncovered neural circuits that control energy balance. The Bdnf gene in the PVH was mostly expressed in previously undefined neurons, and its deletion caused hyperphagia, reduced locomotor activity, impaired thermogenesis, and severe obesity. Hyperphagia and reduced locomotor activity were associated with Bdnf deletion in anterior PVH, whereas BDNF neurons in medial and posterior PVH drive thermogenesis by projecting to spinal cord and forming polysynaptic connections to brown adipose tissues. Furthermore, BDNF expression in the PVH was increased in response to cold exposure, and its ablation caused atrophy of sympathetic preganglionic neurons. Thus, BDNF neurons in anterior PVH control energy intake and locomotor activity, whereas those in medial and posterior PVH promote thermogenesis by releasing BDNF into spinal cord to boost sympathetic outflow.

PMID:
26073495
PMCID:
PMC4497865
DOI:
10.1016/j.cmet.2015.05.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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