Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic identification of neural circuit that suppresses appetite

Date:
October 15, 2013
Source:
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing
Summary:
Scientists have used genetic engineering to identify a population of neurons that tell the brain to shut off appetite.

Scientists at the University of Washington have used genetic engineering to identify a population of neurons that tell the brain to shut off appetite. Their study, "Genetic identification of a neural circuit that suppresses appetite," was published Oct. 13 in Nature.

To identify these neurons, or cells that process and transmit information in the brain, researchers first considered what makes an animal lose its appetite. There are a number of natural reasons, including infection, nausea, pain or simply having eaten too much already.

Nerves within the gut that are distressed or insulted send information to the brain through the vagus nerve. Appetite is suppressed when these messages activate specific neurons -- ones that contain CGRP, (calcitonin gene-related peptide) in a region of the brain called the parabrachial nucleus.

In mouse trials, researchers used genetic techniques and viruses to introduce light-activatable proteins into CGRP neurons. Activation of these proteins excites the cells to transmit chemical signals to other regions of the brain. When they activated the CGRP neurons with a laser, the hungry mice immediately lost their appetite and walked away from their liquid diet (Ensure); when the laser was turned off, the mice resumed drinking the liquid diet.

"These results demonstrate that activation of the CGRP-expressing neurons regulates appetite. This is a nice example of how the brain responds to unfavorable conditions in the body, such as nausea caused by food poisoning" said Richard Palmiter, UW professor of biochemistry and investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Using a similar approach, neurons in other brain regions have been identified that can stimulate the appetite of mice that are not hungry. Researchers hope to identify the complete neural circuit (wiring diagram) in the brain that regulates feeding behavior. By identifying these neural circuits, scientists may be able to design therapies that promote or decrease appetite.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew E. Carter, Marta E. Soden, Larry S. Zweifel, Richard D. Palmiter. Genetic identification of a neural circuit that suppresses appetite. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12596

Cite This Page:

University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing. "Genetic identification of neural circuit that suppresses appetite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015123840.htm>.
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing. (2013, October 15). Genetic identification of neural circuit that suppresses appetite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015123840.htm
University of Washington - Health Sciences/UW News, Community Relations & Marketing. "Genetic identification of neural circuit that suppresses appetite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015123840.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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