It has been suggested that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivation could account for obesity and metabolic syndrome, since the end product of this axis, the glucocorticoid, has important adipogenic actions. Interestingly, it has also been suggested that the HPA axis activation is coupled to changes in peripheral energy stores. However, the neurocircuitry and the neuronal phenotypes involved in this coupling are unknown. Considering the high leptin receptor expression (LepR) in ARC neurons and the huge number of inputs that PVN neurons receive from the ARC, this study aims: 1) To determine the necessity and sufficiency of leptin signaling in AgRP/NPY ARC neurons (AgRP/NPYARC) to corticosterone secretion under metabolic challenge (fasting) using conditional gene edition using the Cre-LoxP system and 2) To investigate whether selective and specific neuronal activity manipulation of AgRP/NPYARC using DREADD technology (Receptors Designed Exclusively Designed by Activated Drugs) can restore corticosterone plasma levels in fasted animals. Our study will permit us to identify the neuronal subsets and the neurocircuitry involved in the adrenal axis regulation during nutritional stress and may contribute to the recognition of new and specific therapeutic targets important to the treatment of disorders metabolic.
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