The role of central leptin in regulating the heart from lipid accumulation in lean leptin-sensitive animals has not been fully elucidated. Herein, we investigated the effects of central leptin infusion on the expression of genes involved in cardiac metabolism and its role in the control of myocardial triacylglyceride (TAG) accumulation in adult Wistar rats. Intracerebroventricular (icv) leptin infusion (0.2 µg/day) for 7 days markedly decreased TAG levels in cardiac tissue. Remarkably, the cardiac anti-steatotic effects of central leptin were associated with the selective upregulation of gene and protein expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ, encoded by Pparb/d) and their target genes, adipose triglyceride lipase (encoded by Pnpla2, herefater referred to as Atgl), hormone sensitive lipase (encoded by Lipe, herefater referred to as Hsl), pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (Pdk4) and acyl CoA oxidase 1 (Acox1), involved in myocardial intracellular lipolysis and mitochondrial/peroxisomal fatty acid utilization. Besides, central leptin decreased the expression of stearoyl-CoA deaturase 1 (Scd1) and diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (Dgat1) involved in TAG synthesis and increased the CPT-1 independent palmitate oxidation, as an index of peroxisomal β-oxidation. Finally, the pharmacological inhibition of PPARβ/δ decreased the effects on gene expression and cardiac TAG content induced by leptin. These results indicate that leptin, acting at central level, regulates selectively the cardiac expression of PPARβ/δ, contributing in this way to regulate the cardiac TAG accumulation in rats, independently of its effects on body weight.
Supplementary materials and methods
Supplementary Table 1 - Probes used for real time PCR