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Elife DOI:10.7554/eLife.18716

Direct modulation of GFAP-expressing glia in the arcuate nucleus bi-directionally regulates feeding.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsChen, N, Sugihara, H, Kim, J, Fu, Z, Barak, B, Sur, M, Feng, G, Han, W
Date Published2016 Oct 18
KeywordsAnimals, Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus, Calcium Signaling, Feeding Behavior, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, Mice, Neuroglia

Multiple hypothalamic neuronal populations that regulate energy balance have been identified. Although hypothalamic glia exist in abundance and form intimate structural connections with neurons, their roles in energy homeostasis are less known. Here we show that selective Ca(2+) activation of glia in the mouse arcuate nucleus (ARC) reversibly induces increased food intake while disruption of Ca(2+) signaling pathway in ARC glia reduces food intake. The specific activation of ARC glia enhances the activity of agouti-related protein/neuropeptide Y (AgRP/NPY)-expressing neurons but induces no net response in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-expressing neurons. ARC glial activation non-specifically depolarizes both AgRP/NPY and POMC neurons but a strong inhibitory input to POMC neurons balances the excitation. When AgRP/NPY neurons are inactivated, ARC glial activation fails to evoke any significant changes in food intake. Collectively, these results reveal an important role of ARC glia in the regulation of energy homeostasis through its interaction with distinct neuronal subtype-specific pathways.


Alternate JournalElife
PubMed ID27751234
PubMed Central IDPMC5068968
Grant ListR01 EY007023 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
R01 EY018648 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
U01 NS090473 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States