Molecular Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 5–6, pp 523–532 | Cite as

Involvement of Leptin Receptor Long Isoform (LepRb)-STAT3 Signaling Pathway in Brain Fat Mass- and Obesity-Associated (FTO) Downregulation during Energy Restriction

  • Pei Wang
  • Feng-Jiao Yang
  • Hui Du
  • Yun-Feng Guan
  • Tian-Ying Xu
  • Xue-Wen Xu
  • Ding-Feng Su
  • Chao-Yu Miao
Research Article


Obesity is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. The fat mass- and obesity-associated (FTO) gene is tightly associated with the pathophysiology of obesity, whereas the exact role of FTO remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the alternations of FTO mRNA and protein expression in the peripheral metabolic tissues and the brain upon energy restriction (ER) and explored the involvement of the leptin signaling pathway in FTO regulation under ER status. ER decreased the FTO mRNA and protein expression in hypothalamus and brainstem but not in periphery. Using double-immunofluorescence staining, FTO was found to be colocalized with the leptin receptor long isoform (LepRb) in arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus and the nucleus of the solitary tract. In LepRb mutant db/db mice, the FTO downregulation in brain and body weight reduction induced by ER were completely abolished. The enhanced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) induced by ER was also impaired in db/db mice. Moreover, leptin directly activated the STAT3 signaling pathway and downregulated FTO in in vitro arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus cultures and in vivo wild-type mice but not db/db mice. Thus, our results provide the first evidence that the LepRb-STAT3 signaling pathway is involved in the brain FTO downregulation during ER.



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China for Distinguished Young Scholars to C-Y Miao (30525045), the National Basic Research Program of China to C-Y Miao (2009CB521902), the National Science and Technology Major Project to C-Y Miao (2009ZX09303-002), the Program of Shanghai Subject Chief Scientist to C-Y Miao (10XD1405300), the Open Funds of the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Vascular Biology to P Wang (GXY2009001005) and the “Shizhen Project” of the School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, China, to PWang.


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Copyright information

© The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pei Wang
    • 1
  • Feng-Jiao Yang
    • 1
  • Hui Du
    • 1
  • Yun-Feng Guan
    • 1
  • Tian-Ying Xu
    • 1
  • Xue-Wen Xu
    • 1
  • Ding-Feng Su
    • 1
  • Chao-Yu Miao
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologySecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Vascular Biology at Ruijin Hospital and Shanghai Institute of HypertensionShanghai Jiaotong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina

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