Hypothalamic neurons regulate body homeostasis by sensing and integrating changes in the levels of key hormones and primary nutrients (amino acids, glucose, and lipids). However, the molecular mechanisms that enable hypothalamic neurons to detect primary nutrients remain elusive. Here, we identified l-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1) in hypothalamic leptin receptor–expressing (LepR-expressing) neurons as being important for systemic energy and bone homeostasis. We observed LAT1-dependent amino acid uptake in the hypothalamus, which was compromised in a mouse model of obesity and diabetes. Mice lacking LAT1 (encoded by solute carrier transporter 7a5, Slc7a5) in LepR-expressing neurons exhibited obesity-related phenotypes and higher bone mass. Slc7a5 deficiency caused sympathetic dysfunction and leptin insensitivity in LepR-expressing neurons before obesity onset. Importantly, restoring Slc7a5 expression selectively in LepR-expressing ventromedial hypothalamus neurons rescued energy and bone homeostasis in mice deficient for Slc7a5 in LepR-expressing cells. Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex-1 (mTORC1) was found to be a crucial mediator of LAT1-dependent regulation of energy and bone homeostasis. These results suggest that the LAT1/mTORC1 axis in LepR-expressing neurons controls energy and bone homeostasis by fine-tuning sympathetic outflow, thus providing in vivo evidence of the implications of amino acid sensing by hypothalamic neurons in body homeostasis.
Gyujin Park, Kazuya Fukasawa, Tetsuhiro Horie, Yusuke Masuo, Yuka Inaba, Takanori Tatsuno, Takanori Yamada, Kazuya Tokumura, Sayuki Iwahashi, Takashi Iezaki, Katsuyuki Kaneda, Yukio Kato, Yasuhito Ishigaki, Michihiro Mieda, Tomohiro Tanaka, Kazuma Ogawa, Hiroki Ochi, Shingo Sato, Yun-Bo Shi, Hiroshi Inoue, Hojoon Lee, Eiichi Hinoi