Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN

Role of Astrocytes in Leptin Signaling.

PMID 25687329


To test the hypothesis that astrocytic leptin signaling induces an overall potentiation of the neuronal response to leptin, we generated a new line of astrocyte-specific leptin receptor knockout (ALKO-Δ1) mice in which no leptin receptor is expressed in astrocytes. Corresponding to cell-specific Cre recombinase expression in hypothalamic astrocytes but not neurons, this new strain of ALKO mice had attenuated pSTAT3 signaling in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus 30 min after intracerebroventricular delivery of leptin. In response to high-fat diet for 2 months, the ALKO mice showed a greater increase of percent fat and blood leptin concentration. This coincided with a mild reactive gliosis in the hypothalamus. Overall, the absence of leptin receptors in astrocytes attenuated hypothalamic pSTAT3 signaling, induced a mild reactive morphology, and promoted the development of diet-induced obesity. We conclude that leptin signaling in astrocytes is essential for the homeostasis of neuroendocrine regulation in obesity.

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