Leptin is an adipocyte-derived blood-borne satiety factor that acts directly on the hypothalamus, thereby regulating food intake and energy expenditure. We have demonstrated that the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (Arc) is a primary site of the satiety effect of leptin (Neurosci Lett 224:149-152, 1997). To explore the hypothalamic pathway of sympathetic activation of leptin, we examined the effects of a single intravenous or intracerebroventricular injection of recombinant human leptin on catecholamine secretion in rats. We also examined the effects of direct microinjection of leptin into the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), Arc, paraventricular nucleus (PVN), and dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) in rats. To further assess whether sympathetic activation of leptin is mediated via the VMH, we also examined the effects of a single intravenous injection of leptin in VMH-lesioned rats. A single injection of leptin (0.25-1.0 mg i.v./rat or 0.5-2.0 pg i.c.v./rat) increased plasma norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (EPI) concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. Plasma NE and EPI concentrations were increased significantly when leptin was injected directly into the VMH but were unchanged when injected into the Arc, PVN, and DMH. Plasma NE and EPI concentrations were unchanged in VMH-lesioned rats that received a single intravenous injection of leptin. The present study provides evidence that a leptin-induced increase in catecholamine secretion is mediated primarily via the VMH and suggests the presence of distinct hypothalamic pathways mediating the satiety effect and sympathetic activation of leptin.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism