Rexford S. Ahima, MD, PhD
My research is focused on the CNS and peripheral actions of adipokines. Leptin inhibits feeding, increases energy expenditure, and enhances insulin signaling by acting on arcuate hypothalamic neurons expressing NPY/AGRP or POMC. Adiponectin signals via MC4R in the hypothalamus to stimulate energy expenditure, insulin sensitivity and fat oxidation. In contrast, resistin induces hepatic inflammation and insulin resistance partly by acting on NPY-Y1R in the hypothalamus. Understanding the metabolic effects of adipokines provides important insights into the pathogenesis and potential treatment of obesity, diabetes and related diseases.