Sherman, Shermel B; Harberson, Mitchell; Rashleigh, Rebecca; Gupta, Niraj; Powers, Riley; Talla, Ramya; Thusu, Ashima; Hill, Jennifer W
Thermoregulation is the physiological process by which an animal regulates body temperature in response to its environment. It is known that galanin, a neuropeptide widely distributed throughout the central nervous system and secreted by the gut, plays a role in thermoregulatory behaviors and metabolism. We tested the ability of the novel neuropeptide spexin, which shares sequence homology to galanin, to regulate these functions in female mice. Supraphysiological levels of spexin in C57BL/6 mice did not lead to weight loss after 50 days of treatment. Behavioral analysis of long-term spexin treatment showed it decreased anxiety and increased thermoregulatory nest building, which was not observed when mice were housed at thermoneutral temperatures. Treatment also disrupted the thermogenic profile of brown and white adipose tissue, decreasing mRNA expression of Ucp1 in BAT and immunodetection of β3-adrenergic receptors in gWAT. Our results reveal novel functions for spexin as a modulator of thermoregulatory behaviors and adipose tissue metabolism.