Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dessert on your mind? Your muscles may be getting the message

Date:
December 6, 2009
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Even the anticipation of sweets may cause our muscles to start taking up more blood sugar, say researchers. That message is delivered via neurons in the brain's hypothalamus containing the chemical known as orexin and the sympathetic nervous system, the studies in mice and rats suggest.

Even the anticipation of sweets may cause our muscles to start taking up more blood sugar.
Credit: iStockphoto

Even the anticipation of sweets may cause our muscles to start taking up more blood sugar, say researchers reporting in the December issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. That message is delivered via neurons in the brain's hypothalamus containing the chemical known as orexin and the sympathetic nervous system, the studies in mice and rats suggest.

Orexin neurons are known to switch on when we are motivated to eat or seek other rewards. They also play a role in active wakefulness.

"Our results show that good taste, a pleasant meal, and its expectation stimulate muscle glucose utilization and thereby decrease blood glucose level during feeding," said Yasuhiko Minokoshi of the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan. "Thus, blood glucose level after feeding is controlled by hedonic as well as homeostatic regulatory systems."

Minokoshi's team earlier showed that the fat hormone leptin activates glucose uptake and fat burning in muscle. Those effects depend on signals from the hypothalamus, a brain region that is critical for maintaining energy balance.

"However, an important role of the brain is to control the internal environment in our body by responding to and by anticipating external stimuli," Minokoshi said. That led him to suspect that the brain might control glucose metabolism in muscle based on expectations, and orexin seemed a prime candidate to mediate such an effect.

Indeed, Minokoshi and colleague Tetsuya Shiuchi now show that injection of orexin-A into the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) of mice or rats increased glucose uptake and storage in skeletal muscle. These effects of orexin were blunted in mice lacking receptors of the sympathetic nervous system.

When mice were conditioned to expect the sweet taste of saccharin, it activated their orexin-MH-sympathetic nervous system to promote insulin-induced glucose uptake, they found. Mice that were allowed to taste and lick a glucose solution for a few consecutive days and were then treated with an orexin-receptor blocker showed higher blood sugar levels than those injected with saline.

"The most important finding is that hedonic feeding affects muscle glucose utilization and that orexin is involved in the regulation," Minokoshi said. Orexin has been shown to stimulate feeding, he added, and in fact, they confirmed that mice lacking the orexin gene were less interested than normal mice in sweets. He concludes that orexin may be responsible for controlling and coordinating both feeding behavior and muscle glucose metabolism.

Minokoshi wonders whether this system may kick in under other conditions as well -- for instance, in athletes before a competition. He says it's an idea his team would like to explore through further studies.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Dessert on your mind? Your muscles may be getting the message." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131740.htm>.
Cell Press. (2009, December 6). Dessert on your mind? Your muscles may be getting the message. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131740.htm
Cell Press. "Dessert on your mind? Your muscles may be getting the message." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201131740.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
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