Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349367

Research Project: Developmental Determinants of Obesity in Infants and Children

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Heparin increases food intake through AgRP neurons

Author
item ZHU, CANJUN - South China Agricultural University
item XU, PINGWEN - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item HE, YANLIN - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item YUAN, YEXIAN - South China Agricultural University
item WANG, TAO - South China Agricultural University
item CAI, XINGCAI - South China Agricultural University
item YU, LULU - South China Agricultural University
item YANG, LIUSONG - South China Agricultural University
item WU, JUNGUO - South China Agricultural University
item WANG, LINA - South China Agricultural University
item ZHU, XIAOTONG - South China Agricultural University
item GAO, PING - South China Agricultural University
item XI, QIANGYUN - South China Agricultural University
item ZHANG, YONGLIANG - South China Agricultural University
item XU, YONG - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item JIANG, QINGYAN - South China Agricultural University
item SHU, GANG - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Cell Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/14/2017
Publication Date: 9/5/2017
Citation: Zhu, C., Xu, P., He, Y., Yuan, Y., Wang, T., Cai, X., Yu, L., Yang, L., Wu, J., Wang, L., Zhu, X., Gao, P., Xi, Q., Zhang, Y., Xu, Y., Jiang, Q., Shu, G. 2017. Heparin increases food intake through AgRP neurons. Cell Reports. 20:2455-2467.

Interpretive Summary: Obesity is a serious global health problem. Here we showed that heparin, a commonly used anticoagulant, can increase food intake and body weight via its actions in the brain. These findings suggested that heparin could be a potential target for treatment of obesity.

Technical Abstract: Although the widely used anticoagulant drug heparin has been shown to have many other biological functions independent of its anticoagulant role, its effects on energy homeostasis are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that heparin level is negatively associated with nutritional states and that heparin treatment increases food intake and body weight gain. By using electrophysiological, pharmacological, molecular biological, and chemogenetic approaches, we provide evidence that heparin increases food intake by stimulating AgRP neurons and increasing AgRP release. Our results support a model whereby heparin competes with insulinfor insulin receptor binding on AgRP neurons, and by doing so it inhibits FoxO1 activity to promote AgRP release and feeding. Heparin may be a potential drug target for food intake regulation and body weight control.