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

Alterations in sympathetic nervous system activity do not regulate adipsin gene expression in mice.

Adipsin gene expression is severely diminished in certain forms of genetic and acquired rodent obesity. Common to many of these models of obesity is decreased sympathetic nervous system ( SNS) activity. In addition, treatment of MSG obese mice with the sympathomimetic drug mixture ephedrine and caffeine restores adipsin deficiency to normal, while reversing obesity. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that adipsin gene expression might be regulated through changes in SNS activity with deficient adipsin gene expression in obesity being the result of impaired SNS activity. In the present study we used three models to assess the role of the SNS in regulating adipsin gene expression. First we exposed mice to the cold (4 degrees C), a potent activator of SNS activity. Second, we chemically sympathectomized mice with 60H-dopamine. Third, we treated mice with BRL 26830A, an atypical beta adrenoreceptor agonist. In contrast to our initial hypothesis, these studies demonstrate that alterations of SNS activity do not affect adipsin gene expression in normal mice. Neither increased SNS activity secondary to cold exposure nor decreased SNS activity resulting from sympathectomy alter serum adipsin concentration or adipsin mRNA levels in white (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). Surprisingly, treatment of lean mice with BRL 26830A decreases both adipsin serum concentrations and adipsin mRNA levels, suggesting a potential role for atypical beta adrenoreceptors in pathways that suppress adipsin expression in vivo. The significance of this observation with respect to adipocyte physiology is unclear at present. Future studies will be aimed at defining the molecular mechanisms by which BRL 26830A suppresses adipsin gene expression and the physiological significance of this effect.[1]


  1. Alterations in sympathetic nervous system activity do not regulate adipsin gene expression in mice. Napolitano, A., Lowell, B.B., Flier, J.S. International journal of obesity. (1991) [Pubmed]
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