Brain News: University of Arizona researchers have identified a network of neurons that coordinate with other brain regions to influence appetite.
The UA Department of Neuroscience team tested if the specific neurons within the amygdala control feeding behaviour in mice. When they inhibited the neurons, the appetite increased and vice-versa when activated the neuron.
“By silencing the neurons within the circuit, we can effectively block feeding suppression caused by inflammation to make patients eat more,” said assistant professor Haijiang Cai, who ran the study. “We used anorexia for simplification, but for people with obesity, we can activate those neurons to help them eat less. That’s the potential impact of this kind of study.”
Researchers found that like a symphony, different regions of the brain work in concert to regulate eating behaviour. Different steps of eating food like chewing and swallowing are controlled by different neurocircuitry.
Further research is required to understand how these different steps of feeding are coordinated and if the same mechanism exists in humans. These findings are helpful for those suffering from over-eating or loss of appetite called anorexia.
To Know More You May Refer To:
Wang, Y., Kim, J., Schmit, M.B. et al. A bed nucleus of stria terminalis microcircuit regulating inflammation-associated modulation of feeding. Nat Commun 10, 2769 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10715-x