Hypothalamic Fkbp51 is induced by fasting, and elevated hypothalamic expression promotes obese phenotypes

Linda Yang, Fumiko Isoda, Kelvin Yen, Steven P. Kleopoulos, William Janssen, Xiaoning Fan, Jason Mastaitis, Ambrose Dunn-Meynell, Barry Levin, Rory Mccrimmon, Robert Sherwin, Sergei Musatov, Charles V. Mobbs

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24 Scopus citations


To discover hypothalamic genes that might play a role in regulating energy balance, we carried out a microarray screen for genes induced by a 48-h fast in male C57Bl/6J mouse hypothalamus. One such gene was Fkbp51 (FK506 binding protein 5; Locus NP_034350). The product of this gene is of interest because it blocks glucocorticoid action, suggesting that fasting-induced elevation of this gene in the hypothalamus may reduce glucocorticoid negative feedback, leading to elevated glucocorticoid levels, thus promoting obese phenotypes. Subsequent analysis demonstrated that a 48-h fast induces Fkbp51 in ventromedial, paraventricular, and arcuate hypothalamic nuclei of mice and rats. To assess if hypothalamic Fkbp51 promotes obesity, the gene was transferred to the hypothalamus via an adeno-associated virus vector. Within 2 wk following Fkbp51 over expression, mice on a high-fat diet exhibited elevated body weight, without hyperphagia, relative to mice receiving the control mCherry vector. Body weight remained elevated for more than 8 wk and was associated with elevated corticosterone and impaired glucose tolerance. These studies suggest that elevated hypothalamic Fkbp51 promotes obese phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E987-E991
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2012


  • Corticosterone
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Glucose tolerance
  • Negative feedback
  • Obesity


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