Control of energy balance by hypothalamic gene circuitry involving two nuclear receptors, neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 and glucocorticoid receptor

Sun Gyun Kim, Bora Lee, Dae Hwan Kim, Juhee Kim, Seunghee Lee, Soo-Kyung Lee, Jae Lee

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7 Scopus citations


Nuclear receptors (NRs) regulate diverse physiological processes, including the central nervous system control of energy balance. However, the molecular mechanisms for the central actions of NRs in energy balance remain relatively poorly defined. Here we report a hypothalamic gene network involving two NRs, neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (NOR1) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR), which directs the regulated expression of orexigenic neuropeptides agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) in response to peripheral signals. Our results suggest that the anorexigenic signal leptin induces NOR1 expression likely via the transcription factor cyclicAMPresponse element-binding protein (CREB), while the orexigenic signal glucocorticoid mobilizesGRto inhibit NOR1 expression by antagonizing the action of CREB. Also, NOR1 suppresses glucocorticoid-dependent expression of AgRP and NPY. Consistently, relative to wild-type mice, NOR1-null mice showed significantly higher levels of AgRP and NPY and were less responsive to leptin in decreasing the expression of AgRP and NPY. These results identify mutual antagonism between NOR1 andGR to be a key rheostat for peripheral metabolic signals to centrally control energy balance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3826-3834
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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