Segregation of acute leptin and insulin effects in distinct populations of arcuate proopiomelanocortin neurons

Kevin W. Williams, Lisandra O. Margatho, Charlotte E. Lee, Michelle Choi, Syann Lee, Michael M. Scott, Carol F. Elias, Joel K. Elmquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

268 Scopus citations


Acute leptin administration results in a depolarization and concomitant increase in the firing rate of a subpopulation of arcuate proopiomelanocortin (POMC) cells. This rapid activation of POMC cells has been implicated as a cellular correlate of leptin effects on energy balance. In contrast to leptin, insulin inhibits the activity of some POMC neurons. Several studies have described a "cross talk" between leptin and insulin within the mediobasal hypothalamus via the intracellular enzyme, phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PI3K). Interestingly, both insulin and leptin regulate POMC cellular activity by activation of PI3K; however, it is unclear whether leptin and insulin effects are observed in similar or distinct populations ofPOMCcells.Wetherefore used dual label immunohistochemistry/in situ hybridization and whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology to map insulin and leptin responsive arcuate POMC neurons. Leptin-induced Fos activity within arcuate POMC neurons was localized separate from POMC neurons that express insulin receptor. Moreover, acute responses to leptin and insulin were largely segregated in distinct subpopulations of POMC cells. Collectively, these data suggest that cross talk between leptin and insulin occurs within a network of cells rather than within individual POMC neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2472-2479
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 17 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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