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Food intake occurs in bouts or meals, and numerous meal-generated signals have been identified that act to limit the size of ongoing meals. Hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK) are secreted from the intestine as ingested food is being processed, and in addition to aiding the digestive process, they provide a signal to the brain that contributes to satiation, limiting the size of the meal. The potency of CCK to elicit satiation is enhanced by elevated levels of adiposity signals such as insulin. In the present experiments we asked whether CCK and insulin interact at the level of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). We first isolated rat brain capillary endothelial cells that comprise the BBB and found that they express the mRNA for both the CCK1R and the insulin receptor, providing a basis for a possible interaction. We then administered insulin intraperitoneally to another group of rats and 15min later administered CCK-8 intraperitoneally to half of those rats. After another 15min, CSF and blood samples were obtained and assayed for immunoreactive insulin. Plasma insulin was comparably elevated above baseline in both the CCK-8 and control groups, indicating that the CCK had no effect on circulating insulin levels given these parameters. In contrast, rats administered CCK had CSF-insulin levels that were more than twice as high as those of control rats. We conclude that circulating CCK greatly facilitates the transport of insulin into the brain, likely by acting directly at the BBB. These findings imply that in circumstances in which the plasma levels of both CCK and insulin are elevated, such as during and soon after meals, satiation is likely to be due, in part, to this newly-discovered synergy between CCK and insulin.
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Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a classic gut hormone that is also expressed in the pancreatic islet, where it is highly up-regulated with obesity. Loss of CCK results in increased β-cell apoptosis in obese mice. Similarly, islet α-cells produce increased amounts of another gut peptide, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), in response to cytokine and nutrient stimulation. GLP-1 also protects β-cells from apoptosis via cAMP-mediated mechanisms. Therefore, we hypothesized that the activation of islet-derived CCK and GLP-1 may be linked. We show here that both human and mouse islets secrete active GLP-1 as a function of body mass index/obesity. Furthermore, GLP-1 can rapidly stimulate β-cell CCK production and secretion through direct targeting by the cAMP-modulated transcription factor, cAMP response element binding protein (CREB). We find that cAMP-mediated signaling is required for Cck expression, but CCK regulation by cAMP does not require stimulatory levels of glucose or insulin secretion. We also show that CREB directly targets the Cck promoter in islets from obese (Leptin(ob/ob)) mice. Finally, we demonstrate that the ability of GLP-1 to protect β-cells from cytokine-induced apoptosis is partially dependent on CCK receptor signaling. Taken together, our work suggests that in obesity, active GLP-1 produced in the islet stimulates CCK production and secretion in a paracrine manner via cAMP and CREB. This intraislet incretin loop may be one mechanism whereby GLP-1 protects β-cells from apoptosis.
Dysregulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity leads to debilitating neuroendocrine or metabolic disorders such as Cushing's syndrome (CS). Glucocorticoids control HPA axis activity through negative feedback to the pituitary gland and the central nervous system (CNS). However, the cellular mechanisms involved are poorly understood, particularly in the CNS. Here we show that, in mice, selective loss of TrkB signalling in cholecystokinin (CCK)-GABAergic neurons induces glucocorticoid resistance, resulting in increased corticotrophin-releasing hormone expression, chronic hypercortisolism, adrenocortical hyperplasia, glucose intolerance and mature-onset obesity, reminiscent of the human CS phenotype. Interestingly, obesity is not due to hyperphagia or decreased energy expenditure, but is associated with increased de novo lipogenesis in the liver. Our study therefore identifies CCK neurons as a novel and critical cellular component of the HPA axis, and demonstrates the requirement of TrkB for the transmission of glucocorticoid signalling.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic disturbances are hallmark features of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders and encompass multiple interneuronal cell types. Using bacterial artificial chromosome-driven, miRNA silencing technology we generated transgenic mouse lines that suppress glutamic acid decarboxylase 1 (GAD1) in either cholecystokinin (CCK)- or neuropeptide Y (NPY)-expressing interneurons. In situ lipidomic and proteomic analyses on brain tissue sections revealed distinct, brain region-specific profiles in each transgenic line. Behavioral analyses revealed that suppression of GAD1 in CCK+ interneurons resulted in locomotor and olfactory sensory changes, whereas suppression in NPY+ interneurons affected anxiety-related behaviors and social interaction. Both transgenic mouse lines had altered sensitivity to amphetamine albeit in opposite directions. Together, these data argue that reduced GAD1 expression leads to altered molecular and behavioral profiles in a cell type-dependent manner, and that these subpopulations of interneurons are strong and opposing modulators of dopamine system function. Furthermore, our findings also support the hypothesis that neuronal networks are differentially controlled by diverse inhibitory subnetworks.
The human organic anion-transporting polypeptides OATP1B1 (SLCO1B1) and OATP1B3 (SLCO1B3) are liver-enriched membrane transporters of major importance to hepatic uptake of numerous endogenous compounds, including bile acids, steroid conjugates, hormones, and drugs, including the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl Co-A reductase inhibitor (statin) family of cholesterol-lowering compounds. Despite their remarkable substrate overlap, there are notable exceptions: in particular, the gastrointestinal peptide hormone cholecystokinin-8 (CCK-8) is a high affinity substrate for OATP1B3 but not OATP1B1. We utilized homologous recombination of linear DNA by E. coli to generate a library of cDNA containing monomer size chimeric OATP1B1-1B3 and OATP1B3-1B1 transporters with randomly distributed chimeric junctions to identify three discrete regions of the transporter involved in conferring CCK-8 transport activity. Site-directed mutagenesis of three key residues in OATP1B1 transmembrane helices 1 and 10, and extracellular loop 6, to the corresponding residues in OATP1B3, resulted in a gain of CCK-8 transport by OATP1B1. The residues appear specific to CCK-8, as the mutations did not affect transport of the shared OATP1B substrate atorvastatin or the OATP1B1-specific substrate estrone sulfate. Regions involved in gain of CCK-8 transport by OATP1B1, when mapped to the crystal structures of bacterial transporters from the major facilitator superfamily, are positioned to suggest these regions could readily interact with drug substrates. Accordingly, our data provide new insight into the molecular determinants of the substrate specificity of these hepatic uptake transporters with relevance to targeted drug design and prediction of drug-drug interactions.
The central melanocortin system plays a key role in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Neurons containing the peptide precursor proopiomelanocortin (POMC) are found at two sites in the brain, the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) and the caudal region of the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). ARC POMC neurons, which also express cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), are known to mediate part of the response to factors regulating energy homeostasis, such as leptin and ghrelin. In contrast, the physiological role(s) of the POMC neurons in the caudal brainstem are not well characterized. However, development of a transgenic mouse expressing green fluorescent protein under the control of the POMC promoter [POMC-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) mouse] has aided the study of these neurons. Indeed, recent studies have shown significant activation of NTS POMC-EGFP cells by the gut released satiety factor cholecystokinin (CCK). Here we show that peripheral leptin administration induces the expression of phospho-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 immunoreactivity (pSTAT3-IR), a marker of leptin receptor signaling, in more than 50% of NTS POMC-EGFP neurons. Furthermore, these POMC-EGFP neurons comprise 30% of all pSTAT3-IR cells in the NTS. Additionally, we also show that in contrast to the ARC population, NTS POMC-EGFP neurons do not coexpress CART immunoreactivity. These data suggest that NTS POMC neurons may participate with ARC POMC cells in mediating some of the effects of leptin and thus comprise a novel cell group regulated by both long-term adipostatic signals and satiety factors such as CCK.
Genetic and pharmacological studies have shown that the central melanocortin system plays a critical role in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Animals and humans with defects in the central melanocortin system display a characteristic melanocortin obesity phenotype typified by increased adiposity, hyperphagia, metabolic defects and increased linear growth. In addition to interacting with long-term regulators of energy homeostasis such as leptin, more recent data suggest that the central melanocortin system also responds to gut-released peptides involved in mediating satiety. In this review, we discuss the interactions between these systems, with particular emphasis on cholecystokinin (CCK), ghrelin and PYY(3-36).
The capacity to adjust energy intake in response to changing energy requirements is a defining feature of energy homeostasis. Despite the identification of leptin as a key mediator of this process, the mechanism whereby changes of body adiposity are coupled to adaptive, short-term adjustments of energy intake remains poorly understood. To investigate the physiological role of leptin in the control of meal size and the response to satiety signals, and to identify brain areas mediating this effect, we studied Koletsky (fa(k)/fa(k)) rats, which develop severe obesity due to the genetic absence of leptin receptors. Our finding of markedly increased meal size and reduced satiety in response to the gut peptide cholecystokinin (CCK) in these leptin receptor-deficient animals suggests a critical role for leptin signaling in the response to endogenous signals that promote meal termination. To determine if the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) (a key forebrain site of leptin action) mediates this leptin effect, we used adenoviral gene therapy to express either functional leptin receptors or a reporter gene in the area of the ARC of fa(k)/fa(k) rats. Restoration of leptin signaling to this brain area normalized the effect of CCK on the activation of neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract and area postrema, key hindbrain areas for processing satiety-related inputs. This intervention also reduced meal size and enhanced CCK-induced satiety in fa(k)/fa(k) rats. These findings demonstrate that forebrain signaling by leptin, a long-term regulator of body adiposity, limits food intake on a meal-to-meal basis by regulating the hindbrain response to short-acting satiety signals.
This study tested the hypothesis that diminished exocrine pancreatic function observed in Cu(2+)-deficient rats is associated with alterations in the cholecystokinin (CCK) signal transduction pathway. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were maintained on either a control diet (11 ppm Cu2+) or a Cu(2+)-deficient diet containing 6000 ppm triethylenetetramine tetrahydrochloride. For the duration of the study rats had free access to water and food. After 4 weeks, rats were sacrificed and pancreatic acini isolated for measurement of amylase content, cholecystokinin-stimulated amylase release and total inositol phosphate formation. Plasma Cu2+ levels were significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in rats on a Cu(2+)-deficient diet (19.2 +/- 3.4 micrograms Cu2+/dL), compared with the control diet (77.0 +/- 3.5 micrograms Cu2+/dL). Both amylase content of pancreatic acini and total CCK-8-stimulated amylase release were significantly decreased in Cu(2+)-deficient rats. In addition, Cu(2+)-deficient rats exhibited a decrease (153.5 +/- 30.9%) in the magnitude of CCK-8-stimulated total inositol phosphate formation compared with control rats (220.8 +/- 11.9%). Moreover, CCKA receptor affinity on pancreatic membranes was not significantly altered by Cu(2+)-deficiency, while CCKA receptor density was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in Cu(2+)-deficient rats. The addition of Cu2+ to the binding assay of Cu(2+)-deficient rats did not restore receptor density to control values. The data demonstrates that adequate dietary intake of Cu2+ is important to maintain the functional integrity of the exocrine pancreas.
We have previously demonstrated that altered exocrine pancreatic stimulus-secretion coupling is associated with ovariectomy and chronic estradiol administration. To elucidate possible mechanisms underlying those effects we examined the ability of chronic administration of different doses of estradiol to regulate the CCK signal transduction pathway in isolated rat pancreatic acini. Doses of estradiol ranging from 0.5 to 119 micrograms/day were administered to ovariectomized rats for 18 days. Ovariectomy was associated with enhanced CCK-stimulated pancreatic amylase release, whereas estradiol dose dependently decreased the magnitude of CCK-stimulated amylase release. Ovariectomy was also associated with enhanced CCK receptor numbers on acinar cell membranes. Estradiol administration was associated with dose-dependent decreases in CCK receptor numbers. Neither ovariectomy nor estradiol administration affected CCK receptor affinity. Moreover, estradiol administration was associated with increased expression of the alpha-subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein Gq/11 (Galphaq/11). Recent findings (H. Ohnishi, S. A. Ernst, D. I. Yule, C. W. Baker, and J. A. Williams. J. Biol. Chem. 272: 16056-16061, 1997) demonstrate that Galphaq/11 may exert a tonic inhibitory effect on pancreatic enzyme release. In view of these findings, the increased expression of Galphaq/11 induced by estradiol likely contributes to the inhibition of pancreatic enzyme release. We conclude that the effect of estradiol to decrease pancreatic secretion is mediated through regulation of CCK receptor density and Galphaq/11 expression.