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With obesity men exhibit a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome than women in early adult life, but this sex advantage wanes in postmenopausal women. A key diagnostic of the metabolic syndrome is insulin resistance in both peripheral tissues and brain, especially in the hypothalamus. Since the anorexigenic hormone 17β-estradiol (E2) regulates food intake in part by inhibiting the excitability of the hypothalamic neuropeptide Y/agouti-related peptide (NPY/AgRP) neurons, we hypothesized that E2 would protect against insulin resistance in NPY/AgRP neurons with diet-induced obesity (DIO). Therefore, we did whole-cell recordings and single cell qPCR in arcuate NPYGFP neurons from both female and male mice to test the efficacy of insulin with DIO. The resting membrane potential and input resistance of NPY/AgRP neurons was significantly increased in DIO versus control-diet fed males. Most notably, the efficacy of insulin to activate KATP channels in NPY/AgRP neurons was significantly attenuated, although the KATP channel opener diazoxide was fully effective in NPY/AgRP neurons from DIO males, indicating that the KATP channels were expressed and functional. In contrast, insulin was fully efficacious to activate KATP channels in DIO females, and the response was reversed by the KATP channel blocker tolbutamide. However, the ability of insulin to activate KATP channels was abrogated with ovariectomy but fully restored with E2 replacement. The insulin resistance in obese males was likely mediated by an increase in suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3), protein tyrosine phosphatase B (PTP1B) and T cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TCPTP) activity since the expression of all three mRNAs were upregulated in the obese males but not in females. As proof of principle, pre-incubation of hypothalamic slices from DIO males with the PTP1B/TCPTP inhibitor CX08005 completely rescued the effects of insulin. Therefore, E2 protects NPY/AgRP neurons in females against insulin resistance through, at least in part, attenuating phosphatase activity. The neuroprotective effects of E2 may explain sex differences in the expression of metabolic syndrome with aging.
This article was published in the following journal.
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Calcitonin gene-related peptide. A 37-amino acid peptide derived from the calcitonin gene. It occurs as a result of alternative processing of mRNA from the calcitonin gene. The neuropeptide is widely distributed in neural tissue of the brain, gut, perivascular nerves, and other tissue. The peptide produces multiple biological effects and has both circulatory and neurotransmitter modes of action. In particular, it is a potent endogenous vasodilator.
A secreted protein of approximately 131 amino acids that is related to AGOUTI SIGNALING PROTEIN and is also an antagonist of MELANOCORTIN RECEPTOR activity. It is expressed primarily in the HYPOTHALAMUS and the ADRENAL GLAND. As a paracrine signaling molecule, AGRP is known to regulate food intake and body weight. Elevated AGRP has been associated with OBESITY.
Steroidal compounds related to ESTRADIOL, the major mammalian female sex hormone. Estradiol congeners include important estradiol precursors in the biosynthetic pathways, metabolites, derivatives, and synthetic steroids with estrogenic activities.
A 36-amino acid peptide present in many organs and in many sympathetic noradrenergic neurons. It has vasoconstrictor and natriuretic activity and regulates local blood flow, glandular secretion, and smooth muscle activity. The peptide also stimulates feeding and drinking behavior and influences secretion of pituitary hormones.
A nonapeptide that is found in neurons, peripheral organs, and plasma. This neuropeptide induces mainly delta sleep in mammals. In addition to sleep, the peptide has been observed to affect electrophysiological activity, neurotransmitter levels in the brain, circadian and locomotor patterns, hormonal levels, psychological performance, and the activity of neuropharmacological drugs including their withdrawal.
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