Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fat Fighting Undermined By Over Active Eating Pacemaker

Date:
May 13, 2004
Source:
University Of Warwick
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Warwick have for the first time been able to detail how and why specific neurons in the brain control the hunger response. They have revealed a set of pacemaker nerve cells in the brain that appear to underlie the drive to feed which itself feeds on a complex web of signals.

Researchers at the University of Warwick have for the first time been able to detail how and why specific neurons in the brain control the hunger response. They have revealed a set of pacemaker nerve cells in the brain that appear to underlie the drive to feed which itself feeds on a complex web of signals. The level of complexity they have found is such that the system could be much more at risk of serious repercussions from a single error in how those signals are processed than anyone had previously thought. Any number of a range of errors could lead to over activity of these pacemaker cells and explain why many people find difficulty in eating less.

In the research, published in the May Issue of Nature Neuroscience, Dr David Spanswick and his research team in the University of Warwick's Department of Biological Sciences, looked at a part of the brain called the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus which was known to deal with hunger and satiety signals but how it achieves this is poorly understood. The University of Warwick team have identified very specific neurons that act as feeding "pacemakers".

This specific group of neurons- which they have dubbed the "ARC pacemaker" produce regular bursts of electrical activity. However these cells integrate and process a wide variety of signals indicating the energy needs of the body signals most often transmitted by the use of chemical messengers such as hormones like ghrelin, released from the gut and leptin from fat cells.

The combination of these signals and their integration by the ARC pacemaker is such a finely balanced mechanism that one small error or mutation leading to any inappropriate communication in these pathways could produce a significant untoward affect on human eating or feeding patterns.

The high number of potential ways that this delicately balanced hunger pacemaker can go wrong could explain why many overweight people are unable to address their weight problems by a combination of diet and exercise. In the past people with a weight problem have faced scepticism and doubts as to how hard they were really trying to stick to diet and exercise regimes. This research shows that there may indeed be very good reasons why they seem unable to solve their weight problems simply by employing the usual methods, - eating less may be a more difficult and complicated problem than we currently anticipate.

###

Full text of research paper on Nature Neuroscience web site at: http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/neuro/journal/v7/n5/full/nn1226.html

This research was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (USA) and British Heart Foundation (BHF).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Warwick. "Fat Fighting Undermined By Over Active Eating Pacemaker." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040512042748.htm>.
University Of Warwick. (2004, May 13). Fat Fighting Undermined By Over Active Eating Pacemaker. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040512042748.htm
University Of Warwick. "Fat Fighting Undermined By Over Active Eating Pacemaker." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/05/040512042748.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins