Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Leptin also influences brain cells that control appetite, researchers find

Date:
June 1, 2014
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Twenty years after the hormone leptin was found to regulate metabolism, appetite, and weight through brain cells called neurons, researchers have found that the hormone also acts on other types of cells to control appetite. Leptin, a naturally occurring hormone, is known for its hunger-blocking effect on the hypothalamus, a region in the brain. Food intake is influenced by signals that travel from the body to the brain. Leptin is one of the molecules that signal the brain to modulate food intake.

Human brain drawing (stock image). Leptin is one of the molecules that signal the brain to modulate food intake. It is produced in fat cells and informs the brain of the metabolic state.
Credit: © Tony Baggett / Fotolia

Twenty years after the hormone leptin was found to regulate metabolism, appetite, and weight through brain cells called neurons, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that the hormone also acts on other types of cells to control appetite.

Related Articles


Published in the June 1 issue of Nature Neuroscience, the findings could lead to development of treatments for metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes.

"Up until now, the scientific community thought that leptin acts exclusively in neurons to modulate behavior and body weight," said senior author Tamas Horvath, the Jean and David W. Wallace Professor of Biomedical Research and chair of comparative medicine at Yale School of Medicine. "This work is now changing that paradigm."

Leptin, a naturally occurring hormone, is known for its hunger-blocking effect on the hypothalamus, a region in the brain. Food intake is influenced by signals that travel from the body to the brain. Leptin is one of the molecules that signal the brain to modulate food intake. It is produced in fat cells and informs the brain of the metabolic state. If animals are missing leptin, or the leptin receptor, they eat too much and become severely obese.

Leptin's effect on metabolism has been found to control the brain's neuronal circuits, but no previous studies have definitively found that leptin could control the behavior of cells other than neurons.

To test the theory, Horvath and his team selectively knocked out leptin receptors in the adult non-neuronal glial cells of mice. The team then recorded the water and food intake, as well as physical activity every five days. They found that animals responded less to feeding reducing effects of leptin but had heightened feeding responses to the hunger hormone ghrelin.

"Glial cells provide the main barrier between the periphery and the brain," said Horvath. "Thus glial cells could be targeted for drugs that treat metabolic disorders, including obesity and diabetes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jae Geun Kim, Shigetomo Suyama, Marco Koch, Sungho Jin, Pilar Argente-Arizon, Jesϊs Argente, Zhong-Wu Liu, Marcelo R Zimmer, Jin Kwon Jeong, Klara Szigeti-Buck, Yuanqing Gao, Cristina Garcia-Caceres, Chun-Xia Yi, Natalina Salmaso, Flora M Vaccarino, Julie Chowen, Sabrina Diano, Marcelo O Dietrich, Matthias H Tschφp, Tamas L Horvath. Leptin signaling in astrocytes regulates hypothalamic neuronal circuits and feeding. Nature Neuroscience, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nn.3725

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Leptin also influences brain cells that control appetite, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140601150930.htm>.
Yale University. (2014, June 1). Leptin also influences brain cells that control appetite, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140601150930.htm
Yale University. "Leptin also influences brain cells that control appetite, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140601150930.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) — President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) — The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) — The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). 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