Proopiomelanocortin-derived peptides in rat cerebrospinal fluid and hypothalamic extracts: Evidence that secretion is regulated with respect to energy balance

Lynn E. Pritchard, Robert L. Oliver, Julie D. McLoughlin, Susan Birtles, Catherine B. Lawrence, Andrew V. Turnbull, Anne White

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Regulation of proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is an important means of controlling the central melanocortin system. It has never been established whether the spectrum of POMC-derived peptides synthesized and secreted from the hypothalamus is altered in response to changes in energy homeostasis in vivo. To monitor secretion, we analyzed peptide content of rat cerebrospinal fluid. Strikingly, both the POMC precursor and ACTH were readily detected. Moreover, levels of both were lower in samples from obese Zucker rats (fa/fa) vs. lean Zucker rats (+/+, fa/+) and from fasted vs. fed rats, whereas αMSH could not be detected. POMC levels were also decreased in hypothalamic extracts from obese and fasted animals. In contrast, despite being the most predominant peptide in extracts, αMSH levels weren't significantly changed in any of the rat models. The ratio of precursor to derived peptides in cerebrospinal fluid was significantly higher in obese vs. lean and fed vs. fasted rats, indicating that secretion of POMC-derived peptides is differentially down-regulated during negative energy balance. In contrast to peptide analysis, we found that POMC gene expression was not significantly decreased in fasted rat hypothalami. We conclude that regulation of peptide secretion is an important mechanism by which the POMC system is controlled.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)760-766
    Number of pages6
    JournalEndocrinology
    Volume144
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2003

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