The dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) controls a number of essential physiological responses. We have demonstrated that the DMH plays an important role in the regulation of mammalian aging and longevity. To further dissect the molecular basis of the DMH function, we conducted microarray-based gene expression profiling with total RNA from laser-microdissected hypothalamic nuclei and tried to find the genes highly and selectively expressed in the DMH. We found neuropeptide VF precursor (Npvf), PR domain containing 13 (Prdm13), and SK1 family transcriptional corepressor (Skor1) as DMH-enriched genes. Particularly, Prdm13, a member of the Prdm family of transcription regulators, was specifically expressed in the compact region of the DMH (DMC), where Nk2 homeobox 1 (Nkx2-1) is predominantly expressed. The expression of Prdm13 in the hypothalamus increased under diet restriction, whereas it decreased during aging. Prdm13 expression also showed diurnal oscillation and was significantly upregulated in the DMH of long-lived BRASTO mice. The transcriptional activity of the Prdm13 promoter was upregulated by Nkx2-1, and knockdown of Nkx2-1 suppressed Prdm13 expression in primary hypothalamic neurons. Interestingly, DMH-specific Prdm13-knockdown mice showed significantly reduced wake time during the dark period and decreased sleep quality, which was defined by the quantity of electroencephalogram delta activity during NREM sleep. DMH-specific Prdm13-knockdown mice also exhibited progressive increases in body weight and adiposity. Our findings indicate that Prdm13/Nkx2-1-mediated signaling in the DMC declines with advanced age, leading to decreased sleep quality and increased adiposity, which mimic age-associated pathophysiology, and provides a potential link to DMH-mediated aging and longevity control in mammals.
- Age-associated pathophysiology
- DMH-enriched gene
- Dorsomedial hypothalamus
- NREM delta power