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Cell Rep. 2018 Oct 9;25(2):383-397.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.09.034.

Mild Impairment of Mitochondrial OXPHOS Promotes Fatty Acid Utilization in POMC Neurons and Improves Glucose Homeostasis in Obesity.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Department of Neuronal Control of Metabolism, Gleueler Strasse 50, 50931 Cologne, Germany; Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Preventive Medicine (CEDP), University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Strasse 26, 50924 Cologne, Germany; Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging Associated Diseases (CECAD) and Center of Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
2
Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging Associated Diseases (CECAD) and Center of Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany; Biocenter, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, Caver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
4
Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging Associated Diseases (CECAD) and Center of Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
5
Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, 79108 Freiburg, Germany.
6
IMBA, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bohr Gasse 3, 1030 Vienna, Austria.
7
Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Department of Neuronal Control of Metabolism, Gleueler Strasse 50, 50931 Cologne, Germany; Program in Integrative Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism, Department of Comparative Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Department of Anatomy and Histology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.
8
Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Department of Neuronal Control of Metabolism, Gleueler Strasse 50, 50931 Cologne, Germany; Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Preventive Medicine (CEDP), University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Strasse 26, 50924 Cologne, Germany; Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging Associated Diseases (CECAD) and Center of Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Electronic address: bruening@sf.mpg.de.

Abstract

Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and substrate utilization critically regulate the function of hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing neurons. Here, we demonstrate that inactivation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) in POMC neurons mildly impairs mitochondrial respiration and decreases firing of POMC neurons in lean mice. In contrast, under diet-induced obese conditions, POMC-Cre-specific inactivation of AIF prevents obesity-induced silencing of POMC neurons, translating into improved glucose metabolism, improved leptin, and insulin sensitivity, as well as increased energy expenditure in AIFΔPOMC mice. On a cellular level, AIF deficiency improves mitochondrial morphology, facilitates the utilization of fatty acids for mitochondrial respiration, and increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in POMC neurons from obese mice, ultimately leading to restored POMC firing upon HFD feeding. Collectively, partial impairment of mitochondrial function shifts substrate utilization of POMC neurons from glucose to fatty acid metabolism and restores their firing properties, resulting in improved systemic glucose and energy metabolism in obesity.

KEYWORDS:

AIF; MPC-1; ROS; apoptosis-inducing factor; fatty acid; hypothalamic POMC-neurons; mitochondrial; mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation; obesity; oxidation; pyruvate carrier-1; reactive oxygen species

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