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 September 30, 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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