Control of Energy Expenditure by AgRP Neurons of the Arcuate Nucleus: Neurocircuitry, Signaling Pathways, and Angiotensin

  • Lisa L. Morselli
  • Kristin E. Claflin
  • Huxing Cui
  • Justin L. Grobe
Hypertension and the Kidney (RM Carey, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hypertension and the Kidney


Purpose of Review

Here, we review the current understanding of the functional neuroanatomy of neurons expressing Agouti-related peptide (AgRP) and the angiotensin 1A receptor (AT1A) within the arcuate nucleus (ARC) in the control of energy balance.

Recent Findings

The development and maintenance of obesity involves suppression of resting metabolic rate (RMR). RMR control is integrated via AgRP and proopiomelanocortin neurons within the ARC. Their projections to other hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic nuclei contribute to RMR control, though relatively little is known about the contributions of individual projections and the neurotransmitters involved. Recent studies highlight a role for AT1A, localized to AgRP neurons, but the specific function of AT1A within these cells remains unclear.


AT1A functions within AgRP neurons to control RMR, but additional work is required to clarify its role within subpopulations of AgRP neurons projecting to distinct second-order nuclei, and the molecular mediators of its signaling within these cells.


Obesity Bioenergetics Metabolism Renin-angiotensin system Leptin Agouti-related peptide 



The authors were supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (HL134850, HL084207, HL007638, HL127673, MH109920, HL007121, DK117510), the American Heart Association (14PRE20380401, 15SFRN23730000, 18EIA33890055), the American Physiological Society, and the UIHC Center for Hypertension Research.

Authors’ Contributions

LLM drafted the manuscript, and all co-authors edited and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki Declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa L. Morselli
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kristin E. Claflin
    • 1
  • Huxing Cui
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Justin L. Grobe
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of EndocrinologyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  3. 3.Center for Hypertension ResearchUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  4. 4.Obesity Research & Education InitiativeUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  5. 5.Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research CenterUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  6. 6.Iowa Neuroscience InstituteUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  7. 7.Abboud Cardiovascular Research CenterUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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