Results: Mouse global array data identified serpinA3N as a novel gene highly upregulated by both a HFD and leptin challenge. In situ hybridisation showed serpinA3N expression upregulation by HFD and leptin in all major hypothalamic nuclei in agreement with transcriptomic gene expression data. Immunohistochemistry and studies in the hypothalamic clonal neuronal cell line, mHypoE-N42 (N42), confirmed that alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (α1AC), the protein encoded by serpinA3, is localised to neurons and revealed that it is secreted into the media. SerpinA3N expression in N42 neurons is upregulated by palmitic acid and by leptin, together with IL-6 and TNFα, and all three genes are downregulated by the anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. Additionally, palmitate upregulation of serpinA3 in N42 neurons is blocked by the NFκB inhibitor, BAY11, and the upregulation of serpinA3N expression in the hypothalamus by HFD is blunted in IL-1 receptor 1 knockout (IL-1R1−/−) mice.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that serpinA3 expression is implicated in nutritionally mediated hypothalamic inflammation.