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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression analysis of hypothalamic and pituitary components of the growth hormone axis in fasted and streptozotocin-treated neuropeptide Y (NPY)-intact (NPY+/+) and NPY-knockout (NPY-/-) mice.

In the fasted and the streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic male rat, hypothalamic growth hormone (GH)-releasing hormone (GHRH) mRNA levels, and pulsatile GH release are decreased. These changes are believed to be due to a rise in hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) that inhibits GHRH expression. To directly test if NPY is required for metabolic regulation of hypothalamic neuropeptides important in GH secretion, NPY, GHRH and somatostatin (SRIH) mRNA levels were determined in fasted (48 h) and STZ-treated wild-type (NPY(+/+)) and NPY-knockout (NPY(-/-)) mice by ribonuclease protection assay. In addition, pituitary receptor mRNA levels for GHRH (GHRH-R), ghrelin (GHS-R) and SRIH (sst2) were assessed by RT-PCR. Under fed conditions the GH axis of NPY(+/+) and NPY(-/-) did not differ. In the NPY(+/+) mouse, fasting resulted in a 23% weight loss and >250% increase in NPY mRNA accompanied by a significant reduction in both GHRH and SRIH mRNA. These changes were associated with increases in pituitary expression of GHRH-R and GHS-R and a concomitant suppression of sst2. In the NPY(-/-) mouse, fasting also resulted in a 23% weight loss and comparable changes in GHRH-R and sst2, but failed to alter GHRH, SRIH and GHS-R mRNA levels. Fasting resulted in an overall increase in circulating GH, which reached significance in the fasted NPY(-/-) mouse. Induction of diabetes in NPY(+/+) mice, using a single, high-dose, STZ injection (150 mg/kg), resulted in modest weight loss (5%), and a 158% increase NPY expression which was associated with reciprocal changes in pituitary GHS-R and sst2 expression, similar to that observed in the fasted state, but no change in hypothalamic GHRH or SRIF expression was observed. Induction of diabetes in NPY(+/+) and NPY(-/-) mice, using a multiple, low-dose, STZ paradigm (5 consecutive daily injections of 40 mg/kg), did not alter body weight, hypothalamic neuropeptide expression or pituitary receptor expression, with the exception that sst2 mRNA levels were suppressed and GH levels did rise in the NPY(-/-) mouse. These observations demonstrate that NPY is not required for basal regulation of the GH axis, but is required for fasting-induced suppression of GHRH and SRIH expression, as well as fasting-induced augmentation of pituitary GHS-R mRNA. In contrast to the rat, fasting clearly did not suppress circulating GH levels in mice, but resulted in an overall rise in mean GH levels, similar to that observed in other mammalian species. The fact that many of the fasting-induced changes in the GH axis were observed in the high-dose STZ-treated mice, but were not observed in the multiple, low-dose paradigm, suggests STZ-mediated modulation of GH axis function is dependent on the severity of the catabolic state and not hyperglycemia.[1]


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