The neuropeptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is recognized to play an important role in controlling energy balance through direct effects on the CNS, although mechanisms explaining the phenomenon are poorly understood. To begin to understand the effects of TRH on CNS control of energy balance, we first mapped neurons expressing the TRH precursor peptide, prepro-TRH (ppTRH) in the paraventricular nucleus of the rat hypothalamus and the surrounding regions. We identified a population of ppTRH-expressing neurons in the juxtaparaventricular region of the lateral hypothalamus (LHAjp) which were stimulated by the satiety signal leptin (2.5 μg/kg, IP). Using a model of fetal glucocorticoid (GC) exposure in which pregnant rats were treated with the synthetic GC dexamethasone (DEX) during gestational days 18-21, it was observed that such exposure resulted in reduced numbers of ppTRH-ir neurons in the LHAjp in adult male and female rats, and was accompanied by increased food intake. Our data provide further insight into the biological role of the LHAjp, as well as the potential involvement of TRH neurons within this region in metabolic disease associated with fetal glucocorticoid exposure.
- Energy balance
- Juxtaparaventricular region of the lateral hypothalamus
- Thyrotropin releasing hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology