In the brain, the ventral hypothalamus (VHT) regulates energy and bone metabolism. Whether this regulation uses the same or different neuronal circuits is unknown. Alteration of AP1 signaling in the VHT increases energy expenditure, glucose utilization, and bone density, yet the specific neurons responsible for each or all of these phenotypes are not identified. Using neuron-specific, genetically targeted AP1 alterations as a tool in adult mice, we found that agouti-related peptide–expressing (AgRP-expressing) or proopiomelanocortin-expressing (POMC-expressing) neurons, predominantly present in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) within the VHT, stimulate whole-body energy expenditure, glucose utilization, and bone formation and density, although their effects on bone resorption differed. In contrast, AP1 alterations in steroidogenic factor 1–expressing (SF1-expressing) neurons, present in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), increase energy but decrease bone density, suggesting that these effects are independent. Altered AP1 signaling also increased the level of the neuromediator galanin in the hypothalamus. Global galanin deletion (VHT galanin silencing using shRNA) or pharmacological galanin receptor blockade counteracted the observed effects on energy and bone. Thus, AP1 antagonism reveals that AgRP- and POMC-expressing neurons can stimulate body metabolism and increase bone density, with galanin acting as a central downstream effector. The results obtained with SF1-expressing neurons, however, indicate that bone homeostasis is not always dictated by the global energy status, and vice versa.
Anna Idelevich, Kazusa Sato, Kenichi Nagano, Glenn Rowe, Francesca Gori, Roland Baron
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.