Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanism elucidated: How smell perception influences food intake

Date:
February 10, 2014
Source:
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale)
Summary:
A research team has succeeded in elucidating how the endocannabinoid system controls food intake through its effects on the perception of smells.

Researchers discovered that the CB1 cannabinoid receptors control a circuit that connects the the region in the nervous system that initially handles olfactory information, located above the nose to the higher structures of the brain. When the sensation of hunger is felt, it triggers the activity of the cannabinoid receptors, which in turn activate the olfactory circuit, which then becomes more responsive. It is this biological mechanism that brings about the increased sensitivity to smell during hunger, explaining one of the reasons for food intake and attraction to food.
Credit: © Charlie Padgett

In animals, as in humans, hunger mechanisms are known to stimulate food intake. Hunger triggers a set of mechanisms that encourage feeding, for example by increasing sensory perceptions such as the sense of smell. The researchers have now succeeded in revealing what links hunger and increased smell perception in the brain, and the resulting urge to eat.

The researchers have discovered how this mechanism is initiated in the endocannabinoid system in mice. This system interconnects receptors located in the brain and involved in different sensations such as euphoria, anxiety, or even pain, that are also sensitive to cannabinoid substances, such as cannabis.

The researchers discovered that the CB1 cannabinoid receptors control a circuit that connects the olfactory bulb (the region in the nervous system that initially handles olfactory information, located above the nose) to the olfactory cortex (higher structures of the brain). When the sensation of hunger is felt, it triggers the activity of the cannabinoid receptors, which in turn activate the olfactory circuit, which then becomes more responsive.

It is therefore this biological mechanism that brings about the increased sensitivity to smell during hunger, explaining one of the reasons for food intake and attraction to food.

The researchers expect that the circuit involved in the olfactory system is altered in obese or anorexic patients, and that sensitivity to smell may be more or less strong compared to normal. Elucidation of the biological mechanism will allow better management of these types of pathologies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Edgar Soria-Gómez, Luigi Bellocchio, Leire Reguero, Gabriel Lepousez, Claire Martin, Mounir Bendahmane, Sabine Ruehle, Floor Remmers, Tifany Desprez, Isabelle Matias, Theresa Wiesner, Astrid Cannich, Antoine Nissant, Aya Wadleigh, Hans-Christian Pape, Anna Paola Chiarlone, Carmelo Quarta, Daniéle Verrier, Peggy Vincent, Federico Massa, Beat Lutz, Manuel Guzmán, Hirac Gurden, Guillaume Ferreira, Pierre-Marie Lledo, Pedro Grandes, Giovanni Marsicano. The endocannabinoid system controls food intake via olfactory processes. Nature Neuroscience, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nn.3647

Cite This Page:

INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Mechanism elucidated: How smell perception influences food intake." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210114550.htm>.
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). (2014, February 10). Mechanism elucidated: How smell perception influences food intake. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210114550.htm
INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale). "Mechanism elucidated: How smell perception influences food intake." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210114550.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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