Aims:The pathogenesis of obesity remains incompletely understood and the exploration of the role of novel proteins in obesity may provide important insights into its causes and treatments. Here, we report a previously unidentified role for synphilin-1 in the control of food intake and body weight. Synphilin-1, a cytoplasmic protein, was initially identified as an interaction partner of alpha-synuclein, and has implications in Parkinson's disease pathogenesis related to protein aggregation.Subjects and methods:To study the in vivo role of synphilin-1, we characterized a human synphilin-1 transgenic mouse (SP1) by assessing synphilin-1 expression, plasma parameters, food intake and spontaneous activity to determine the major behavioral changes and their consequences in the development of the obesity phenotype.Results:Expression of human synphilin-1 in brain neurons in SP1 mice resulted in increased food intake, body weight and body fat. SP1 mice also displayed hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia and impaired glucose tolerance. Pair-feeding SP1 mice to amounts consumed by non-transgenic mice prevented the increased body weight, adiposity, hyperinsulinemia and hyperleptinemia demonstrating that these were all the consequences of increased food intake. Transgenic expression of synphilin-1 was enriched in hypothalamic nuclei involved in feeding control, and fasting-induced elevated endogenous synphilin-1 levels at these sites, suggesting that synphilin-1 is an important player in the hypothalamic energy balance regulatory system.Conclusion:These studies identify a novel function of synphilin-1 in controlling food intake and body weight, and may provide a unique obesity model for future studies of obesity pathogenesis and therapeutics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- body weight
- food intake