Obesity is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by an excess of body fat. Obesity results from prolonged positive energy balance (i.e. energy intake exceeding energy expenditure). Because obesity may develop over many years in humans, only small imbalances in energy intake and expenditure are required. The cause of excessive positive energy balance in obesity has not been clearly defined. Nevertheless, key regulatory components reside in the hypothalamus, specifically in the arcuate nucleus (ARC).
The hypothalamic neurons are major components of the neural circuits that control energy homeostasis. Amomg hypothalamic neurons, Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the ARC play a major role in regulating energy intake, energy expenditure, and glucose metabolism. Recent studies, including our own, support considerable heterogeneity among POMC neurons. We study the physiological roles of POMC neuron heterogeneity. Our laboratory uses multiple innovative techniques such as conditional viral tracing, optogenetics, pharmacogenetcis, CRISPR/Cas-9, single cell RNAseq, and electrophysiology.
Recent Publications (2012- present)
1. Jo, YH*, Endogenous BDNF regulates inhibitory synaptic transmission in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. J. Neurophysiol. Jan; 107: 42‐49 (2012)
2. Israel, DD, Sheffer‐Babila, S, de Luca, C, Jo, YH, Liu, SM, Xia, Q, Spergel, D, Dun, SK, Dun, NJ and Chua, SC, Effects of leptin and melanocortin signaling on pubertal development and reproduction. Endocrinology, May; 153(5):2408‐19 (2012)
3. Blouet, C., Lui, SM, Jo, YH, Li, X. and Schwartz, G., TXNIP in Agrp Neurons Regulates Adiposity, Energy Expenditure, and Central Leptin Sensitivity. J. Neurosci. Jul 18;32(29):9870‐9877 (2012)
4. Lu, Z , Marcelin G, Bauzon M, Wang H, Fu H, Dun SL, Zhao H, Li X, Jo YH, Wardlaw S, Dun N, Chua, S Jr.,and Zhu L., pRb is an obesity suppressor in hypothalamus and high‐fat diet inhibits pRb in this location. EMBO, 32(6):844‐57 (2013)
5. Groessl F, Jeong JH, Talmage DA, Role LW and Jo YH*, Overnight fasting regulates inhibitory tone to cholinergic neurons of the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. PLOS One, Vol. 8 (4), e60828 (2013)
6. Byun K, Gil SY, Youn BS, Huang H, Namkoong C, Jang PG, Lee JY, Jo YH, Kang GM, Kim HK, Shin MS, Pietrzik CU, Lee B, Kim YB, Kim MS, Clusterin (ApoJ) and LRP2 are critical components of the central leptin signaling pathway. Nature Comm. 4:1862 (2013)
7. Marcelin G, Jo YH, Li X, Schwartz GJ, Zhang Y, Dun NJ, Lyu RM, Blouet C, Chang JK, Chua SC, Central action of FGF19 reduces hypothalamic AGRP/NPY neuron activity and improves glucose metabolism. Molecular Metabolism, 23; 3(1):19‐28 (2013)
8. Lee DK, Jeong JH, Oh SH and Jo YH* Apelin‐13 enhances arcuate POMC neuron activity via inhibiting M‐current. PLOS One, Mar 17;10(3):e0119457 (2015)
9. Lee D.K., Jeong J.H., Chun S.‐K., Chua S.C. Jr. and Jo Y.H* Interplay between glucose and leptin signaling determines the strength of GABAergic synapses at POMC neurons. Nature Commun. 26;6:6618. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7618 (2015)
10. Jeong J.H., Lee DK, Blouet C, Ruiz H.H., Buettner C, Chua S.C., Schwartz G.J., and Jo Y.H. Cholinergic neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus regulate mouse brown adipose tissue metabolism. Molecular metabolism, 11;4(6):483-92 (2015)
11. Jeong J.H., Woo Y.J., Chua S.C., and Jo Y.H. Single-cell gene expression analysis of cholinergic neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. PLOS One (2016) Sep 9;11(9):e0162839. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162839
REVIEWS AND CHAPTERS
1. Jo, YH and Chua S.C., The Brain–Liver Connection Between BDNF and Glucose Control. Diabetes, Vol 62: 1367‐1368 (2013)
2. Jo, YH and Buettner, C., Why leptin keeps you warm. Molecular metabolism, Oct 1; 3(8):779‐80 (2014)
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