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Feb 10, 2021

Central Regulation of Branched-Chain Amino Acids Is Mediated by AgRP Neurons

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, genetics, neuroscience

Circulating branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are elevated in obesity and diabetes, and recent studies support a causal role for BCAAs in insulin resistance and defective glycemic control. The physiological mechanisms underlying BCAA regulation are poorly understood. Here we show that insulin signaling in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) of rats is mandatory for lowering plasma BCAAs, most probably by inducing hepatic BCAA catabolism. Insulin receptor deletion only in agouti-related protein (AgRP)–expressing neurons (AgRP neurons) in the MBH impaired hepatic BCAA breakdown and suppression of plasma BCAAs during hyperinsulinemic clamps in mice. In support of this, chemogenetic stimulation of AgRP neurons in the absence of food significantly raised plasma BCAAs and impaired hepatic BCAA degradation.

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