IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 14899: Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor in the Human Hypothalamus Is Associated with Body Mass Index and Colocalizes with the Anorexigenic Neuropeptide Nucleobindin-2/Nesfatin-1 (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Data on animals emphasize the importance of the neuronal glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor (GLP-1R) for feeding suppression, although it is unclear whether astrocytes participate in the transduction of anorectic GLP-1R-dependent signals. In humans, the brain circuitry underlying these effects remains insufficiently investigated. The present study aimed to explore GLP-1R protein expression in the human hypothalamus and its correlation with body mass index (BMI). Sections of hypothalamus from 28 autopsy cases, 11 with normal weight (BMI < 25 kg/m2) and 17 with non-normal weight (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2), were examined using immunohistochemistry and double immunofluorescence labeling. Prominent GLP-1R immunoexpression was detected in neurons of several hypothalamic nuclei, including paraventricular, supraoptic, and infundibular nuclei; the lateral hypothalamic area (LH); and basal forebrain nuclei. Interestingly, in the LH, GLP-1R was significantly decreased in individuals with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 compared with their normal weight counterparts (p = 0.03). Furthermore, GLP-1R was negatively correlated (τb = −0.347, p = 0.024) with BMI levels only in the LH. GLP-1R extensively colocalized with the anorexigenic and antiobesogenic neuropeptide nucleobindin-2/nesfatin-1 but not with the astrocytic marker glial fibrillary acidic protein. These data suggest a potential role for GLP-1R in the regulation of energy balance in the human hypothalamus. In the LH, an appetite- and reward-related brain region, reduced GLP-1R immunoexpression may contribute to the dysregulation of homeostatic and/or hedonic feeding behavior. Possible effects of NUCB2/nesfatin-1 on central GLP-1R signaling require further investigation.