Friday, October 22, 2021
News

Researchers examine neurons, hormones associated with overeating

   SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend    Print this Page   COMMENT

Washington | October 13, 2021 8:16:42 AM IST
If eating is considered one of life's greatest pleasures then overeating is one of life's growing problems.

In 2019, researchers from The Stuber Lab at the University of Washington School of Medicine discovered that certain cells light up in obese mice and prevent signals that indicate satiety, or feeling full. Now comes a deeper dive into what role these cells play.

A study published in the journal Neuron reports on the function of glutamatergic neurons in mice. These cells are located in the lateral hypothalamic area of the brain, a hub that regulates motivated behaviours, including feeding.

The researchers found that these neurons communicate to two different brain regions: the lateral habenula, a key brain region in the pathophysiology of depression, and the ventral tegmental area, best known for the major role it plays in motivation, reward, and addiction.

"We found these cells are not a monolithic group, and that different flavors of these cells do different things," said Stuber, a joint UW professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine and pharmacology. He works at the UW Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction, Pain, and Emotion, and was the paper's senior author. Mark Rossi, the acting instructor of anesthesiology and pain medicine, is the lead author.

The study is another step in understanding the brain circuits involved in eating disorders.

The Stuber Lab studies the function of major cell groups in the brain's reward circuit and characterizes their role in addiction and mental illness - in hopes of finding treatments. One question is whether these cells can be targeted by drugs without harming other parts of the brain.

Their recent study systematically analyzed the lateral hypothalamic glutamate neurons. Researchers found that, when mice are being fed, the neurons in the lateral habenula are more responsive than those in the ventral tegmental area, suggesting that these neurons may play a greater role in guiding feeding.

Researchers also looked at the influence of the hormones leptin and ghrelin on how we eat. Both leptin and ghrelin are thought to regulate behavior through their influence on the mesolimbic dopamine system, a key component of the reward pathway in the brain.

But little has been known about how these hormones influence neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area of the brain. The investigators found that leptin blunts the activity of neurons that project to the lateral habenula and increases the activity of neurons that project to the ventral tegmental area. But ghrelin does the opposite.

This study indicated that brain circuits that control feeding at least partially overlap with brain circuitry involved in drug addiction.

The study adds to the growing body of research on the role of the brain in obesity, which the World Health Organization calls a global epidemic. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 16 states now have obesity rates of 35 per cent or higher. That's an increase of four states - Delaware, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas - in just a year. (ANI)

 
  LATEST COMMENTS ()
POST YOUR COMMENT
Comments Not Available
 
POST YOUR COMMENT
 
 
TRENDING TOPICS
 
 
CITY NEWS
MORE CITIES
 
 
 
MORE SCIENCE NEWS
Ola Cars to hire 10,000 people, expand t...
Agiculture, health at risk from declinin...
Can deep space radiation seriously affec...
Ad revenue in Indian short video-app mar...
Google adds new Focus time feature in it...
India to see record smartphone sales at ...
More...
 
INDIA WORLD ASIA
350 fake voter cards, two dummy EVMs sei...
Seizing bikes, internet shutdown not lin...
Malik attacks Wankhede over foreign trip...
J&K: Municipal committee official arrest...
UN India lauds 100 crore vax feat...
8.5 lakh CCTV cameras installed in Telan...
More...    
 
 Top Stories
Biden pledges to defend Taiwan if C... 
T20 WC: No reason to fear in Super ... 
Mizoram reports 737 new COVID-19 ca... 
Ad featuring actor Aamir Khan creat... 
1 killed, several injured in factor... 
T20 WC: India and England to go as ... 
Conference to discuss Modi's govern... 
Martin Scorsese, Istevan Szabo to b...