Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2011 Jul 20;301(1):R209-17. Epub 2011 Apr 20.
Department of Pediatrics, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Hypothalamic fatty acid metabolism is involved in central nervous system controls of feeding and energy balance. Malonyl-CoA, an intermediate of fatty acid biosynthesis, is emerging as a significant player in these processes. Notably, hypothalamic malonyl-CoA has been implicated in leptin's feeding effect. Leptin treatment increases malonyl-CoA level in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (Arc), and this increase is required for leptin-induced decrease in food intake. However, the intracellular downstream mediators of malonyl-CoA's feeding effect have not been identified. A primary biochemical action of malonyl-CoA is the inhibition of the acyltransferase activity of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1). In the hypothalamus, the predominant isoform of CPT-1 that possesses the acyltransferase activity is CPT-1 liver type (CPT-1a). To address the role of CPT-1a in malonyl-CoA's anorectic action, we used a recombinant adenovirus expressing a mutant CPT-1a that is insensitive to malonyl-CoA inhibition. We show that Arc overexpression of the mutant CPT-1a blocked the malonyl-CoA-mediated inhibition of CPT-1 activity. However, the overexpression of this mutant did not affect the anorectic actions of leptin or central cerulenin for which an increase in Arc malonyl-CoA level is also required. Thus, CPT-1a does not appear to be involved in the malonyl-CoA's anorectic actions induced by leptin. Furthermore, long-chain fatty acyl-CoAs, substrates of CPT-1a, dissociate from malonyl-CoA's actions in the Arc under different feeding states. Together, our results suggest that Arc intracellular mechanisms of malonyl-CoA's anorectic actions induced by leptin are independent of CPT-1a. The data suggest that target(s), rather than CPT-1a, mediates malonyl-CoA action on feeding.