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.

Related Articles


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 February 1, 2015 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 February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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