Inactivation of Ppp1r15a minimises weight gain and insulin resistance during caloric excess in mice
Phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2α within the mediobasal hypothalamus is known to suppress food intake, but the role of the eIF2α phosphatases in regulating body weight is poorly understood. Mice deficient in active PPP1R15A, a stress-inducible eIF2α phosphatase, are healthy and more resistant to endoplasmic reticulum stress than wild type controls. We report that when Ppp1r15a mutant mice are fed a high fat diet they gain less weight than wild type littermates owing to reduced food intake. This results in healthy leaner Ppp1r15a mutant animals with reduced hepatic steatosis and improved insulin sensitivity, albeit with a modest defect in insulin secretion. By contrast, no weight differences are observed between wild type and Ppp1r15a deficient mice fed a standard diet. We conclude that mice lacking the C-terminal PP1-binding domain of PPP1R15A show reduced dietary intake and preserved glucose tolerance. Our data indicate that this results in reduced weight gain and protection from diet-induced obesity.