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 October 25, 2014 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) 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:

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