The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Loss of NSCL-2 in gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons leads to reduction of pro-opiomelanocortin neurons in specific hypothalamic nuclei and causes visceral obesity.

PMID 23785158


Regulation of sexual reproduction and energy homeostasis are closely interconnected, but only few efforts were made to explore the impact of gonadotropic neurons on metabolic processes. We have used Nscl-2 mutant mice suffering from adult onset of obesity and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism to study effects of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons on neuronal circuits controlling energy balance. Inactivation of Nscl-2 in GnRH neurons but not in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons reduced POMC neurons and increased visceral fat mass, suggesting a critical role of GnRH cells in the regulation of POMC neurons. In contrast, absence of POMC processing in the majority of Nscl-2-deficient POMC neurons had no effect on energy homeostasis. Finally, we investigated the cellular basis of the reduction of GnRH neurons in NSCL-2 mutants using a lineage tracing approach. We found that loss of Nscl-2 results in aberrant migration of GnRH neurons in Nscl-2 mutant mice causing a lineage switch of ectopically located GnRH neurons.