Spexin is a novel neuropeptide discovered by bioinformatics and has been proposed as a regulator of energy balance. However, its precise role and underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of spexin and its receptor, galanin receptor 2 (GALR2), in regulation of energy balance in the mediobasal hypothalamus of mice. Administration of spexin into the third ventricle near the hypothalamus (I3V) significantly decreased food intake and body weight with no change in energy expenditure in mice. The central spexin-induced anorexia and weight loss were reinstated by pre-I3V administration of GALR2 antagonist, M871, indicating hypothalamic GALR2-mediated action of spexin in the regulation of energy balance. In addition, we showed that I3V administration of spexin-based selective GALR2 agonist significantly reduced food intake and body weight in a dose-dependent manner with no signs of illness assessed by a conditioned taste aversion test, suggesting a novel role of hypothalamic GALR2 in the regulation of energy balance. Furthermore, we found that activation of GALR2 induced by spexin increased phosphorylation of CREB in the mediobasal hypothalamus of mice and cells overexpressing GALR2 different from galanin, suggesting a ligand-dependent switch of G protein coupled with GALR2. Taken together, these results suggested a critical role of hypothalamic spexin and GALR2 in the regulation of energy balance in mice.
N. Ha: None. N. Kim: None. C. Kim: None. M. Song: None. H. Lee: None. B. Jin: None. M. Park: None. J. Seong: None. S. Kim: None. D. Kim: None.