MentallyHealth.Org

Scientists discover signaling pathway in brain to induce cellular leptin resistance

August 28, 2017

"In the follow-up experiments, which we conducted in mice, we were able to induce leptin resistance simply by infusing activators of this pathway, further supporting our theory that this signaling pathway may contribute to leptin resistance in obesity," said Dr. Makoto Fukuda, instructor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and the study's lead author.

Dr. Elmquist said that while the EPAC signaling pathway itself is not novel, this is the first time it has been studied in the hypothalamus and in the context of energy balance and leptin signaling.

The next step, Dr. Elmquist said, is to investigate how critical the EPAC pathway actually is in leptin responsive neurons and to determine its role in maintaining energy balance and leptin sensitivity.

"These results are potentially interesting and provocative, but the physiological importance remains to be seen," Dr. Elmquist said. "If, however, this pathway is indeed important, it will offer new insights into the mechanisms that high levels of leptin cause in leptin resistance."

Source: UT Southwestern Medical Center