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Estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of food intake and energy expenditure by estrogens. Although it is well documented that a disruption of ERalpha signaling in ERalpha knockout (ERKO) mice leads to an obese phenotype, the sites of estrogen action and mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are still largely unknown. In(More)
Like leptin, the pancreatic hormone insulin is an important adiposity signal to the brain. We report that the hypothalamic melanocortin system is an important target of the actions of insulin to regulate food intake and body weight. Hypothalamic neurons expressing insulin receptors were found to coexpress the melanocortin precursor molecule(More)
Obesity is associated with an enhanced inflammatory response that exacerbates insulin resistance and contributes to diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. One mechanism accounting for the increased inflammation associated with obesity is activation of the innate immune signaling pathway triggered by TLR4 recognition of saturated fatty acids,(More)
In peripheral tissues, insulin signaling involves activation of the insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) enzyme system. In the hypothalamus, insulin functions with leptin as an afferent adiposity signal important for the regulation of body fat stores and hepatic glucose metabolism. To test the hypothesis that hypothalamic(More)
There is now considerable consensus that the adipocyte hormone leptin and the pancreatic hormone insulin are important regulators of food intake and energy balance. Leptin and insulin fulfill many of the requirements to be putative adiposity signals to the brain. Plasma leptin and insulin levels are positively correlated with body weight and with adipose(More)
Genome-wide association studies have identified 32 loci influencing body mass index, but this measure does not distinguish lean from fat mass. To identify adiposity loci, we meta-analyzed associations between ∼2.5 million SNPs and body fat percentage from 36,626 individuals and followed up the 14 most significant (P < 10(-6)) independent loci in 39,576(More)
Estrogens regulate body weight and reproduction primarily through actions on estrogen receptor-α (ERα). However, ERα-expressing cells mediating these effects are not identified. We demonstrate that brain-specific deletion of ERα in female mice causes abdominal obesity stemming from both hyperphagia and hypometabolism. Hypometabolism and abdominal obesity,(More)
Obesity and its associated health disorders and costs are increasing. Males and females differ in terms of how and where body fat is stored, the hormones they secrete in proportion to their fat, and the way their brains respond to signals that regulate body fat. Fat accumulation in the intra-abdominal adipose depot is associated with the risk for developing(More)
The lateral hypothalamus (LH) has a critical role in the control of feeding and drinking. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is an orexigenic peptidergic neurotransmitter produced primarily in the LH, and agouti-related protein (AgRP) is an orexigenic peptidergic neurotransmitter produced exclusively in the arcuate (ARC), an area that innervates the LH. We(More)
Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and orexin-A are orexigenic peptidergic neurotransmitters produced primarily in the lateral hypothalamus. Because two other hypothalamic peptides, neuropeptide Y and agouti-related peptide, increase food intake by a mechanism that depends on activation of opioid receptors, we assessed whether MCH or orexin-A also elicits(More)