The gliotransmitter ACBP controls feeding and energy homeostasis via the melanocortin system

Khalil Bouyakdan, Hugo Martin, Fabienne Liénard, Lionel Budry, Bouchra Taib, Demetra Rodaros, Chloé Chrétien, Éric Biron, Zoé Husson, Daniela Cota, Luc Pénicaud, Stephanie Fulton, Xavier Fioramonti, Thierry Alquier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Glial cells have emerged as key players in the central control of energy balance and etiology of obesity. Astrocytes play a central role in neural communication via the release of gliotransmitters. Acyl-CoA–binding protein–derived (ACBP-derived) endozepines are secreted peptides that modulate the GABAA receptor. In the hypothalamus, ACBP is enriched in arcuate nucleus (ARC) astrocytes, ependymocytes, and tanycytes. Central administration of the endozepine octadecaneuropeptide (ODN) reduces feeding and improves glucose tolerance, yet the contribution of endogenous ACBP in energy homeostasis is unknown. We demonstrated that ACBP deletion in GFAP+ astrocytes, but not in Nkx2.1-lineage neural cells, promoted diet-induced hyperphagia and obesity in both male and female mice, an effect prevented by viral rescue of ACBP in ARC astrocytes. ACBP+ astrocytes were observed in apposition with proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, and ODN selectively activated POMC neurons through the ODN GPCR but not GABAA, and suppressed feeding while increasing carbohydrate utilization via the melanocortin system. Similarly, ACBP overexpression in ARC astrocytes reduced feeding and weight gain. Finally, the ODN GPCR agonist decreased feeding and promoted weight loss in ob/ob mice. These findings uncover ACBP as an ARC gliopeptide playing a key role in energy balance control and exerting strong anorectic effects via the central melanocortin system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2417-2430
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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