Transgenic expression in the hypothalamus of syndecan-1, a cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) and modulator of ligand-receptor encounters, produces mice with hyperphagia and maturity-onset obesity resembling mice with reduced action of α melanocyte stimulating hormone (αMSH). Via their HS chains, syndecans potentiate the action of agouti-related protein and agouti signaling protein, endogenous inhibitors of αMSH. In wild-type mice, syndecan-3, the predominantly neural syndecan, is expressed in hypothalamic regions that control energy balance. Food deprivation increases hypothalamic syndecan-3 levels several-fold. Syndecan-3 null mice, otherwise apparently normal, respond to food deprivation with markedly reduced reflex hyperphagia. We propose that oscillation of hypothalamic syndecan-3 levels physiologically modulates feeding behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)