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

Disruption of Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Signaling in Sim1 Neurons Reduces Physiological and Behavioral Reactivity to Acute and Chronic Stress.


PMID 28053040

Abstract

Organismal stress initiates a tightly orchestrated set of responses involving complex physiological and neurocognitive systems. Here, we present evidence for glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1)-mediated paraventricular hypothalamic circuit coordinating the global stress response. The GLP-1 receptor (Glp1r) in mice was knocked down in neurons expressing single-minded 1, a transcription factor abundantly expressed in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus. Mice with single-minded 1-mediated Glp1r knockdown had reduced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to both acute and chronic stress and were protected against weight loss associated with chronic stress. In addition, regional Glp1r knockdown attenuated stress-induced cardiovascular responses accompanied by decreased sympathetic drive to the heart. Finally, Glp1r knockdown reduced anxiety-like behavior, implicating PVN GLP-1 signaling in behavioral stress reactivity. Collectively, these findings support a circuit whereby brainstem GLP-1 activates PVN signaling to mount an appropriate whole-organism response to stress. These results raise the possibility that dysfunction of this system may contribute to stress-related pathologies, and thereby provide a novel target for intervention. Dysfunctional stress responses are linked to a number of somatic and psychiatric diseases, emphasizing the importance of precise neuronal control of effector pathways. Pharmacological evidence suggests a role for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in modulating stress responses. Using a targeted knockdown of the GLP-1 receptor in the single-minded 1 neurons, we show dependence of paraventricular nucleus GLP-1 signaling in the coordination of neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral responses to acute and chronic stress. To our knowledge, this is the first direct demonstration of an obligate brainstem-to-hypothalamus circuit orchestrating general stress excitation across multiple effector systems. These findings provide novel information regarding signaling pathways coordinating central control of whole-body stress reactivity.

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