Adult Neurogenesis in the Female Mouse Hypothalamus: Estradiol and High-Fat Diet Alter the Generation of Newborn Neurons Expressing Estrogen Receptor α
Estrogens and leptins act in the hypothalamus to maintain reproduction and energy homeostasis. Neurogenesis in the adult mammalian hypothalamus has been implicated in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Recently, high-fat diet (HFD) and estradiol (E2) have been shown to alter cell proliferation and the number of newborn leptin-responsive neurons in the hypothalamus of adult female mice. The current study tested the hypothesis that new cells expressing estrogen receptor α (ERα) are generated in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) of the adult female mouse, hypothalamic regions that are critical in energy homeostasis. Adult mice were ovariectomized and implanted with capsules containing E2 or oil. Within each hormone group, mice were fed an HFD or standard chow for 6 weeks and treated with BrdU to label new cells. Newborn cells that respond to estrogens were identified in the ARC and VMH, of which a subpopulation was leptin sensitive, indicating that the subpopulation consists of neurons. Moreover, there was an interaction between diet and hormone with an effect on the number of these newborn ERα-expressing neurons that respond to leptin. Regardless of hormone treatment, HFD increased the number of ERα-expressing cells in the ARC and VMH. E2 decreased hypothalamic fibroblast growth factor 10 (Fgf10) gene expression in HFD mice, suggesting a role for Fgf10 in E2 effects on neurogenesis. These findings of newly created estrogen-responsive neurons in the adult brain provide a novel mechanism by which estrogens can act in the hypothalamus to regulate energy homeostasis in females.
Elizabeth P. Bless, Jane Yang, Kalpana D. Acharya, Sabin A. Nettles, Fair M. Vassoler, Elizabeth M. Byrnes, Marc J. Tetel. "Adult Neurogenesis in the Female Mouse Hypothalamus: Estradiol and High-Fat Diet Alter the Generation of Newborn Neurons Expressing Estrogen Receptor α". eNeuro 28 August 2016, 3 (4) ENEURO.0027-16.2016; DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0027-16.2016