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 August 23, 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 August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) 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:
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