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Tups Laboratory

Research interests

The focus of our research at the Centre for Neuroendocrinology is on the neuroendocrine regulation of metabolism. In particular we are interested in the central interaction of the adiposity hormones leptin and insulin, which appears crucial for the maintenance of energy and glucose homeostasis. We established that a loss of central leptin action during obesity leads to impaired insulin action, which might explain the striking correlation of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

We investigate neuroendocrine mechanisms that link obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

We focus on manipulating these crucial pathways via nutritive, genetherapeutic and pharmacological approaches to potentially avoid the manifestation of nutrition related diseases.

Clinical conditions

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cancer

List of publications for Alexander Tups (Google Scholar)

Tups Laboratory staff and students

Alisa Boucsein_webAlisa Boucsein, Postdoctoral Fellow
Hypothalamic inflammation as cause of leptin resistance and obesity 
Email a.boucsein@otago.ac.nz

Kaj Kamstra_webKaj Kamstra, PhD student
WNT signalling and diabetes
Email kajkamstra@hotmail.com

Aline Loehfelm_webAline Loehfelm, PhD student
Nutrition and Alzheimer's disease
Email loeal728@student.otago.ac.nz

Dominik Pretz_webDominik Pretz, Assistant Research Fellow
Email dominik.pretz@otago.ac.nz

Mo Rizwan_webMohammed Rizwan, Postdoctoral Fellow
Neuroendocrine control of metabolism
Email mohammed.rizwan@otago.ac.nz

Nathan Skinner_webNathan Skinner, PhD student
Circadian desynchrony and its impact on obesity and diabetes
Email skina239@student.otago.ac.nz

Amie Siemonek, Honours student
Hyperinsulinemia in Alzheimer's disease

Visit Our people for an alphabetical list of all Centre for Neuroendocrinology staff.

Publications

McEwen, H. J. L., Cognard, E., Ladyman, S. R., Khant-Aung, Z., Tups, A., Shepherd, P. R., & Grattan, D. R. (2018). Feeding and GLP-1 receptor activation stabilize beta-catenin in specific hypothalamic nuclei in male rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12607

Sergi, D., Campbell, F. M., Grant, C., Morris, A. C., Bachmair, E.-M., Koch, C., … Tups, A., & Williams, L. M. (2018). SerpinA3N is a novel hypothalamic gene upregulated by a high-fat diet and leptin in mice 06 Biological Sciences 0604 Genetics. Genes & Nutrition, 13, 28. doi: 10.1186/s12263-018-0619-1

Rizwan, M. Z., Shepherd, P., Tups, A., & Grattan, D. (2018). Stabilization of beta-catenin in mouse hypothalamic cell lines. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN). (pp. 348-349). Retrieved from http://www.icn2018.org/

Loehfelm, A., & Tups, A. (2018). Effects of the saturated fatty acid palmitate on neuronal morphology and function. Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN). (pp. 211). Retrieved from http://www.icn2018.org/

Tups, A., Benzler, J., Sergi, D., Ladyman, S. R., & Williams, L. M. (2017). Central regulation of glucose homeostasis. Comprehensive Physiology, 7(2), 741-764. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c160015

Journal - Research Article

McEwen, H. J. L., Cognard, E., Ladyman, S. R., Khant-Aung, Z., Tups, A., Shepherd, P. R., & Grattan, D. R. (2018). Feeding and GLP-1 receptor activation stabilize beta-catenin in specific hypothalamic nuclei in male rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.12607

Sergi, D., Campbell, F. M., Grant, C., Morris, A. C., Bachmair, E.-M., Koch, C., … Tups, A., & Williams, L. M. (2018). SerpinA3N is a novel hypothalamic gene upregulated by a high-fat diet and leptin in mice 06 Biological Sciences 0604 Genetics. Genes & Nutrition, 13, 28. doi: 10.1186/s12263-018-0619-1

Tups, A., Benzler, J., Sergi, D., Ladyman, S. R., & Williams, L. M. (2017). Central regulation of glucose homeostasis. Comprehensive Physiology, 7(2), 741-764. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c160015

Rizwan, M. Z., Mehlitz, S., Grattan, D. R., & Tups, A. (2017). Temporal and regional onset of leptin resistance in diet-induced obese mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 29(10), e12481. doi: 10.1111/jne.12481

Helfer, G., & Tups, A. (2016). Hypothalamic Wnt signalling and its role in energy balance regulation. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 28. doi: 10.1111/jne.12368

Boucsein, A., Benzler, J., Hempp, C., Stöhr, S., Helfer, G., & Tups, A. (2016). Photoperiodic and diurnal regulation of WNT signaling in the arcuate nucleus of the female Djungarian hamster, Phodopus sungorus. Endocrinology, 157(2), 799-809. doi: 10.1210/en.2015-1708

Stark, R., Reichenbach, A., Lockie, S. H., Pracht, C., Wu, Q., Tups, A., & Andrews, Z. B. (2015). Acyl ghrelin acts in the brain to control liver function and peripheral glucose homeostasis in male mice. Endocrinology, 156(3), 858-868. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1733

Benzler, J., Ganjam, G. K., Pretz, D., Oelkrug, R., Koch, C. E., Legler, K., … Tups, A. (2015). Central inhibition of IKKβ/NF-κB signalling attenuates high-fat diet–induced obesity and glucose intolerance. Diabetes, 64, 2015-2027. doi: 10.2337/db14-0093

Koch, C. E., Lowe, C., Pretz, D., Steger, J., Williams, L. M., & Tups, A. (2014). High-fat diet induces leptin resistance in leptin-deficient mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 26(2), 58-67. doi: 10.1111/jne.12131

Briggs, D. I., Lockie, S. H., Benzler, J., Wu, Q., Stark, R., Reichenbach, A., … Tups, A., & Andrews, Z. B. (2014). Evidence that diet-induced hyperleptinemia, but not hypothalamic gliosis, causes ghrelin resistance in NPY/AgRP neurons of male mice. Endocrinology, 155(7), 2411-2422. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1861

Williams, L. M., Campbell, F. M., Drew, J. E., Koch, C., Hoggard, N., Rees, W. D., … Tups, A. (2014). The development of diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance in C57BL/6 mice on a high-fat diet consists of distinct phases. PLoS ONE, 9(8), e106159. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106159

Koch, C. E., Lowe, C., Legler, K., Benzler, J., Boucsein, A., Böttiger, G., Grattan, D. R., … Tups, A. (2014). Central adiponectin acutely improves glucose tolerance in male mice. Endocrinology, 155(5), 1806-1816. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1734

Penzkofer, D., Bonauer, A., Fischer, A., Tups, A., Brandes, R. P., Zeiher, A. M., & Dimmeler, S. (2014). Phenotypic characterization of miR-92a-/- mice reveals an important function of miR-92a in skeletal development. PLoS ONE, 9(6), e101153. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101153

Koch, C. E., Göddeke, S., Krüger, M., & Tups, A. (2013). Effect of central and peripheral leucine on energy metabolism in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus). Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 183(2), 261-268. doi: 10.1007/s00360-012-0699-y

Ganjam, G. K., Benzler, J., Pinkenburg, O., Boucsein, A., Stöhr, S., Steger, J., … Tups, A. (2013). Overexpression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 in the arcuate nucleus of juvenile Phodopus sungorus alters seasonal body weight changes. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 183(8), 1101-1111. doi: 10.1007/s00360-013-0772-1

Koch, C. E., Ganjam, G. K., Steger, J., Legler, K., Stöhr, S., Schumacher, D., … Tups, A. (2013). The dietary flavonoids naringenin and quercetin acutely impair glucose metabolism in rodents possibly via inhibition of hypothalamic insulin signalling. British Journal of Nutrition, 109(6), 1040-1051. doi: 10.1017/s0007114512003005

Benzler, J., Andrews, Z. B., Pracht, C., Stöhr, S., Shepherd, P. R., Grattan, D. R., & Tups, A. (2013). Hypothalamic WNT signalling is impaired during obesity and reinstated by leptin treatment in male mice. Endocrinology, 154(12), 4737-4745. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-1746

Benzler, J., Ganjam, G. K., Legler, K., Stöhr, S., Krüger, M., Steger, J., & Tups, A. (2013). Acute inhibition of central c-Jun N-terminal kinase restores hypothalamic insulin signalling and alleviates glucose intolerance in diabetic mice. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 25(5), 446-454. doi: 10.1111/jne.12018

Tups, A., Stöhr, S., Helwig, M., Barrett, P., Krol, E., Schachtner, J., … Klingenspor, M. (2012). Seasonal leptin resistance is associated with impaired signalling via JAK2-STAT3 but not ERK, possibly mediated by reduced hypothalamic GRB2 protein. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 182(4), 553-567. doi: 10.1007/s00360-011-0637-4

Benzler, J., Ganjam, G. K., Krüger, M., Pinkenburg, O., Kutschke, M., Stöhr, S., … Grattan, D. R., & Tups, A. (2012). Hypothalamic glycogen synthase kinase 3β has a central role in the regulation of food intake and glucose metabolism. Biochemical Journal, 447(1), 175-184. doi: 10.1042/bj20120834

Koch, C., Augustine, R. A., Steger, J., Ganjam, G. K., Benzler, J., Pracht, C., … Anderson, G. M., Grattan, D. R., & Tups, A. (2010). Leptin rapidly improves glucose homeostasis in obese mice by increasing hypothalamic insulin sensitivity. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(48), 16180-16187. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3202-10.2010

Tups, A., Anderson, G. M., Rizwan, M., Augustine, R. A., Chaussade, C., Shepherd, P. R., & Grattan, D. R. (2010). Both p110α and p110β isoforms of phosphatidylinositol 3-OH-kinase are required for insulin signalling in the hypothalamus. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 22(6), 534-542. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2010.01975.x

Tups, A. (2009). Physiological models of leptin resistance [Young investigator perspective]. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 21(11), 961-971. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2009.01916.x

Helwig, M., Archer, Z. A., Heldmaier, G., Tups, A., Mercer, J. G., & Klingenspor, M. (2009). Photoperiodic regulation of satiety mediating neuropeptides in the brainstem of the seasonal Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus). Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 195(7), 631-642. doi: 10.1007/s00359-009-0438-3

Ladyman, S. R., Tups, A., Augustine, R. A., Swahn-Azavedo, A., Kokay, I. C., & Grattan, D. R. (2009). Loss of hypothalamic response to leptin during pregnancy associated with development of melanocortin resistance. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 21(5), 449-456. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2009.01862.x

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