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 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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