Leptin receptor-mediated regulation of cholinergic neurotransmitter phenotype in cells of central nervous system origin

Annalise Di Marco, Anna Demartis, Isabelle Gloaguen, Domenico Lazzaro, Paola Delmastro, Gennaro Ciliberto, Ralph Laufer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Leptin is an adipocyte-secreted hormone that regulates body weight and exerts effects on hematopoiesis, reproduction, and immunity. The leptin receptor (OBR) shares sequence similarity and signaling capabilities with receptors for cytokines of the ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) family. Our previous finding that CNTF and leptin exert similar anti-obesity effects and activate common neuronal signaling pathways, prompted us to investigate whether leptin may share with CNTF the ability to regulate the expression of specific neuronal genes. To this end, we established a cell line, derived from the murine septal cholinergic neuronal cell line SN-56, which stably expresses OBR. In this cell line, termed SN-56/OBR, leptin induces STAT transcription factor activation and STAT-dependent reporter gene expression in a manner similar to that of CNTF. Furthermore, in SN-56/OBR cells both CNTF and leptin produce changes in neurotransmitter and neuropeptide phenotype characteristic of cholinergic neurons, such as an increase in choline acetyltransferase and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, and a decrease in neuropeptide Y expression. SN-56/OBR cells thus constitute an interesting new model system to investigate leptin action in cells of central nervous system origin. Possible physiological implications of OBR's intrinsic ability to regulate cholinergic phenotypic markers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2939-2944
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Choline acetyltransferase
  • Cholinergic neurons
  • Ciliary neurotrophic factor
  • Leptin
  • Leptin receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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