Lipopolysacharide rapidly and completely suppresses AgRP neuron-mediated food intake in male mice

Yang Liu, Ying Huang, Tiemin Liu, Hua Wu, Huxing Cui, Laurent Gautron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Although Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons play a key role in the regulation of food intake, their contribution to the anorexia caused by proinflammatory insults has yet to be identified. Using a combination of neuroanatomical and pharmacogenetics experiments, this study sought to investigate the importance of AgRP neurons and downstream targets in the anorexia caused by the peripheral administration of a moderate dose of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (100 μg/kg, ip). First, in the C57/Bl6 mouse, we demonstrated that LPS induced c-fos in select AgRP-innervated brain sites involved in feeding but not in any arcuate proopiomelanocortin neurons. Double immunohistochemistryfurthershowedthat LPS selectively induced c-Fos in a large subset of melanocortin 4 receptor-expressing neurons in the lateral parabrachial nucleus. Secondly, we used pharmacogenetics to stimulate the activity of AgRP neurons during the course of LPS-induced anorexia. In AgRP-Cre mice expressing the designer receptor hM3Dq-Gq only in AgRP neurons, the administration of the designer drug clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) induced robust food intake. Strikingly, CNO-mediated food intake was rapidly and completely blunted by the coadministration of LPS. Neuroanatomical experiments further indicated that LPS did not interfere with the ability of CNO to stimulate c-Fos in AgRP neurons. In summary, our findings combined together support the view that the stimulation of select AgRP-innervated brain sites and target neurons, rather than the inhibition of AgRP neurons themselves, is likely to contribute to the rapid suppression of food intake observed during acute bacterial endotoxemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2380-2392
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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