Michael Schwartz

In rodent models of type 2 diabetes (T2D), sustained remission of diabetic hyperglycemia can be induced by a single intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1). To identify the brain area(s) responsible for this effect, we first used immunohistochemistry to map the hypothalamic distribution of phosphoERK (pERK1/2), a marker of MAP kinase-ERK signal transduction downstream of FGF receptor activation. Twenty minutes after icv FGF1 injection in adult male Wistar rats, pERK1/2 staining was detected primarily in two hypothalamic areas: the arcuate nucleus and adjacent median eminence (ARC-ME), and the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). To determine whether an action of FGF1 localized to either the ARC-ME or the PVN is capable of mimicking the sustained antidiabetic effect elicited by icv FGF1, we microinjected either saline vehicle or a low dose of FGF1 (0.3 µg/side) bilaterally into either the ARC-ME area or PVN of Zucker Diabetic Fatty (ZDF) rats, a model of T2D, and monitored daily food intake, body weight, and blood glucose levels over a 3-week period. Whereas bilateral intra-arcuate microinjection of saline vehicle was without effect, remission of hyperglycemia lasting >3 wk was observed following bilateral microinjection of FGF1 into the ARC-ME. This antidiabetic effect cannot be attributed to leakage of FGF1 into cerebrospinal fluid and subsequent action on other brain areas, since icv injection of the same total dose was without effect. Combined with our finding that bilateral microinjection of the same dose of FGF1 into the PVN was without effect on glycemia or other parameters, we conclude that the ARC-ME area (but not the PVN) is a target for sustained remission of diabetic hyperglycemia induced by FGF1.