Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase is an Upstream Regulator of the Phosphodiesterase 3B Pathway of Leptin Signalling that may not Involve Activation of Akt in the Rat Hypothalamus

Authors

  • A. Sahu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    • Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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  • K. Koshinaka,

    1. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Health and Nutrition, Niigata University of Health and Welfare, Musculoskeletal System Research Center, Niigata, Japan
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  • M. Sahu

    1. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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Correspondence to: A. Sahu, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Magee-Womens Research Institute, 204 Craft Avenue, Room B303, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA (e-mail: asahu@pitt.edu).

Abstract

Leptin, the product of the obese gene, regulates energy homeostasis by acting primarily at the level of the hypothalamus. Leptin action through its receptor involves various pathways, including the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), and phosphodiesterase 3B (PDE3B)-cAMP signalling in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues. In the hypothalamus, leptin stimulates STAT3 activation, and induces PI3K and PDE3B activities, among others. We have previously demonstrated that PDE3B activation in the hypothalamus is critical for transducing the anorectic and body weight reducing effects of leptin. Similarly, PI3K has been implicated to play a critical role in leptin signalling in the hypothalamus. Although, in the insulin signalling pathway, PI3K is known to be an upstream regulator of PDE3B in non-neuronal tissues, it is still unknown whether this is also the case for leptin signalling in the hypothalamus. To address this possibility, the effect of wortmannin, a specific PI3K inhibitor, was examined on leptin-induced PDE3B activity in the hypothalamus of male rats. Intracerebroventricular injection of leptin (4 μg) significantly increased PDE3B activity by two-fold in the hypothalamus as expected. However, previous administration of wortmannin completely reversed the stimulatory effect of leptin on PDE3B activity in the hypothalamus. To investigate whether leptin stimulates phospho (p)-Akt levels and that there might be a possible upstream regulator of PDE3B, we examined the effects of i.c.v. leptin on p-Akt levels in the hypothalamus and compared them with the known stimulatory effect of insulin on p-Akt. We observed that insulin increased p-Akt levels but leptin failed to do so, although it increased p-STAT3 levels, in the rat hypothalamus. Immunocytochemistry confirmed the biochemical findings in that leptin failed but insulin increased the number of p-Akt positive cells in various hypothalamic nuclei. Taken together, these results implicate PI3K but not Akt as an upstream regulator of the PDE3B pathway of leptin signalling in the rat hypothalamus.

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