TNF-alpha acts in the hypothalamus inhibiting food intake and increasing the respiratory quotient - Effects on leptin and insulin signaling pathways
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Acting in the hypothalamus, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) produces a potent anorexigenic effect. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are poorly characterized. In this study, we investigate the capacity of TNF-alpha to activate signal transduction in the hypothalamus through elements of the pathways employed by the anorexigenic hormones insulin and leptin. High dose TNF-a promotes a reduction of 25% in 12 h food intake, which is an inhibitory effect that is marginally inferior to that produced by insulin and leptin. In addition, high dose TNF-a increases body temperature and respiratory quotient, effects not reproduced by insulin or leptin. TNF-alpha, predominantly at the high dose, is also capable of activating canonical pro-inflammatory signal transduction in the hypothalamus, inducing JNK, p38, and NF kappa B, which results in the transcription of early responsive genes and expression of proteins of the SOCS family. Also, TNF-a activates signal transduction through JAK-2 and STAT-3, but does not activate signal transduction. through early and intermediary elements of the insulin/leptin signaling pathways such as IRS-2, Akt, ERK and FOXO1. When co-injected with insulin or leptin, TNF-a, at both high and low doses, partially impairs signal transduction through IRS-2, Akt, ERK and FOXO1 but not through JAK-2 and STAT-3. This effect is accompanied by the partial inhibition of the anorexigenic effects of insulin and leptin, when the low, but not the high dose of TNF-alpha is employed. In conclusion, TNF-alpha, on a dose-dependent way, modulates insulin and leptin signaling and action in the hypothalamus. (c) Published by Elsevier B.V.