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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CMET.2020.12.018

Hypothalamic detection of macronutrients via multiple gut-brain pathways.

02 Mar 2021-Cell Metabolism (Elsevier BV)-Vol. 33, Iss: 3
Abstract: Food intake is tightly regulated by complex and coordinated gut-brain interactions. Nutrients rapidly modulate activity in key populations of hypothalamic neurons that regulate food intake, including hunger-sensitive agouti-related protein (AgRP)-expressing neurons. Because individual macronutrients engage specific receptors in the gut to communicate with the brain, we reasoned that macronutrients may utilize different pathways to reduce activity in AgRP neurons. Here, we revealed that AgRP neuron activity in hungry mice is inhibited by site-specific intestinal detection of different macronutrients. We showed that vagal gut-brain signaling is required for AgRP neuron inhibition by fat. In contrast, spinal gut-brain signaling relays the presence of intestinal glucose. Further, we identified glucose sensors in the intestine and hepatic portal vein that mediate glucose-dependent AgRP neuron inhibition. Therefore, distinct pathways are activated by individual macronutrients to inhibit AgRP neuron activity.

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Topics: Neuron (52%)
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29 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41586-021-04143-5
17 Nov 2021-Nature
Abstract: The brain is the seat of body weight homeostasis. However, our inability to control the increasing prevalence of obesity highlights a need to look beyond canonical feeding pathways to broaden our understanding of body weight control1–3. Here we used a reverse-translational approach to identify and anatomically, molecularly and functionally characterize a neural ensemble that promotes satiation. Unbiased, task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed marked differences in cerebellar responses to food in people with a genetic disorder characterized by insatiable appetite. Transcriptomic analyses in mice revealed molecularly and topographically -distinct neurons in the anterior deep cerebellar nuclei (aDCN) that are activated by feeding or nutrient infusion in the gut. Selective activation of aDCN neurons substantially decreased food intake by reducing meal size without compensatory changes to metabolic rate. We found that aDCN activity terminates food intake by increasing striatal dopamine levels and attenuating the phasic dopamine response to subsequent food consumption. Our study defines a conserved satiation centre that may represent a novel therapeutic target for the management of excessive eating, and underscores the utility of a ‘bedside-to-bench’ approach for the identification of neural circuits that influence behaviour. Activity in anterior deep cerebellar nuclei reduces food consumption in mice without reducing metabolic rate, potentially identifying a therapeutic target for disorders involving excessive eating.

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Topics: Deep cerebellar nuclei (51%)

17 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CMET.2021.05.002
Diba Borgmann1, Elisa Ciglieri1, Nasim Biglari1, Claus Brandt1  +8 moreInstitutions (2)
06 Jul 2021-Cell Metabolism
Abstract: Sensory neurons relay gut-derived signals to the brain, yet the molecular and functional organization of distinct populations remains unclear. Here, we employed intersectional genetic manipulations to probe the feeding and glucoregulatory function of distinct sensory neurons. We reconstruct the gut innervation patterns of numerous molecularly defined vagal and spinal afferents and identify their downstream brain targets. Bidirectional chemogenetic manipulations, coupled with behavioral and circuit mapping analysis, demonstrated that gut-innervating, glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP1R)-expressing vagal afferents relay anorexigenic signals to parabrachial nucleus neurons that control meal termination. Moreover, GLP1R vagal afferent activation improves glucose tolerance, and their inhibition elevates blood glucose levels independent of food intake. In contrast, gut-innervating, GPR65-expressing vagal afferent stimulation increases hepatic glucose production and activates parabrachial neurons that control normoglycemia, but they are dispensable for feeding regulation. Thus, distinct gut-innervating sensory neurons differentially control feeding and glucoregulatory neurocircuits and may provide specific targets for metabolic control.

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Topics: Sensory system (52%), Stimulation (51%)

11 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.MOLMET.2021.101206
Abstract: Background Over the past 20 years, insights from human and mouse genetics have illuminated the central role of the brain leptin-melanocortin pathway in the control of mammalian food intake, with genetic disruption resulting in extreme obesity, and more subtle polymorphic variation influencing the population distribution of body-weight. At the end of 2020, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved setmelanotide, a melanocortin 4 receptor agonist, for use in individuals with severe obesity due to either pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC), proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 (PCSK1) or leptin receptor (LEPR) deficiency. Scope of review Here, we will chart the history of the melanocortin pathway, explore its pharmacology, genetics and physiology, and tell the story of how a neuropeptidergic circuit managed to find its way to becoming an important druggable obesity target. Conclusions Unravelling the genetics of the subset of severe obesity has revealed the importance of the melanocortin pathway in appetitive control; coupling this with studying the molecular pharmacology of compounds that bind the melanocortin receptors has brought a new drug to the market for obesity. This process provides a template of drug discovery for complex disorders, which in the case of setmelanotide took 25 years to go from a single gene to an approved drug.

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Topics: Melanocortin (60%), Melanocortin 4 receptor (59%), Setmelanotide (52%) ... show more

10 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41366-021-00894-3
Abstract: Omnivores, including rodents and humans, compose their diets from a wide variety of potential foods. Beyond the guidance of a few basic orosensory biases such as attraction to sweet and avoidance of bitter, they have limited innate dietary knowledge and must learn to prefer foods based on their flavors and postoral effects. This review focuses on postoral nutrient sensing and signaling as an essential part of the reward system that shapes preferences for the associated flavors of foods. We discuss the extensive array of sensors in the gastrointestinal system and the vagal pathways conveying information about ingested nutrients to the brain. Earlier studies of vagal contributions were limited by nonselective methods that could not easily distinguish the contributions of subsets of vagal afferents. Recent advances in technique have generated substantial new details on sugar- and fat-responsive signaling pathways. We explain methods for conditioning flavor preferences and their use in evaluating gut–brain communication. The SGLT1 intestinal sugar sensor is important in sugar conditioning; the critical sensors for fat are less certain, though GPR40 and 120 fatty acid sensors have been implicated. Ongoing work points to particular vagal pathways to brain reward areas. An implication for obesity treatment is that bariatric surgery may alter vagal function.

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4 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1172/JCI143770
Abstract: Given the crucial role of the gastrointestinal tract and associated organs in handling nutrient assimilation and metabolism, it has long been known that its communication with the brain is important for the control of ingestive behavior and body weight regulation. It is also clear that gut-brain communication is bidirectional and utilizes both rapid neural and slower humoral mechanisms and pathways. However, progress in understanding these mechanisms and leveraging them for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease has been hindered by the enormous dimension of the gut mucosa, the complexity of the signaling systems, and lack of specific tools. With the ascent of modern neurobiological technology, our understanding of the role of vagal afferents in gut-brain communication has begun to change. The first function-specific populations of vagal afferents providing nutritional feedback as well as feed-forward signals have been identified with genetics-guided methodology, and it is hoped that extension of the methodology to other neural communication pathways will follow soon. Currently, efficient clinical leveraging of gut-brain communication to treat obesity and metabolic disease is limited to a few gut hormones, but a more complete understanding of function-specific and projection-specific neuronal populations should make it possible to develop selective and more effective neuromodulation approaches.

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4 Citations


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70 results found


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NATURE00887
08 Aug 2002-Nature
Abstract: Food intake is regulated by the hypothalamus, including the melanocortin and neuropeptide Y (NPY) systems in the arcuate nucleus(1). The NPY Y2 receptor (Y2R), a putative inhibitory presynaptic receptor, is highly expressed on NPY neurons(2) in the arcuate nucleus, which is accessible to peripheral hormones(3). Peptide YY3-36 (PYY3-36), a Y2R agonist(4), is released from the gastrointestinal tract postprandially in proportion to the calorie content of a meal(5-7). Here we show that peripheral injection of PYY3-36 in rats inhibits food intake and reduces weight gain. PYY3-36 also inhibits food intake in mice but not in Y2r-null mice, which suggests that the anorectic effect requires the Y2R. Peripheral administration of PYY3-36 increases c-Fos immunoreactivity in the arcuate nucleus and decreases hypothalamic Npy messenger RNA. Intra-arcuate injection of PYY3-36 inhibits food intake. PYY3-36 also inhibits electrical activity of NPY nerve terminals, thus activating adjacent pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons(8). In humans, infusion of normal postprandial concentrations of PYY3-36 significantly decreases appetite and reduces food intake by 33% over 24 h. Thus, postprandial elevation of PYY3-36 may act through the arcuate nucleus Y2R to inhibit feeding in a gut-hypothalamic pathway.

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Topics: Peptide YY (59%), Arcuate nucleus (58%), Hypothalamus (55%) ... show more

1,991 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1172/JCI46229
Michael J. Krashes1, Shuichi Koda2, Chian Ping Ye2, Sarah C. Rogan3  +5 moreInstitutions (3)
Abstract: Several different neuronal populations are involved in regulating energy homeostasis. Among these, agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons are thought to promote feeding and weight gain; however, the evidence supporting this view is incomplete. Using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) technology to provide specific and reversible regulation of neuronal activity in mice, we have demonstrated that acute activation of AgRP neurons rapidly and dramatically induces feeding, reduces energy expenditure, and ultimately increases fat stores. All these effects returned to baseline after stimulation was withdrawn. In contrast, inhibiting AgRP neuronal activity in hungry mice reduced food intake. Together, these findings demonstrate that AgRP neuron activity is both necessary and sufficient for feeding. Of interest, activating AgRP neurons potently increased motivation for feeding and also drove intense food-seeking behavior, demonstrating that AgRP neurons engage brain sites controlling multiple levels of feeding behavior. Due to its ease of use and suitability for both acute and chronic regulation, DREADD technology is ideally suited for investigating the neural circuits hypothesized to regulate energy balance.

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958 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NN.2739
Abstract: Two intermingled hypothalamic neuron populations specified by expression of agouti-related peptide (AGRP) or pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) positively and negatively influence feeding behavior, respectively, possibly by reciprocally regulating downstream melanocortin receptors. However, the sufficiency of these neurons to control behavior and the relationship of their activity to the magnitude and dynamics of feeding are unknown. To measure this, we used channelrhodopsin-2 for cell type-specific photostimulation. Activation of only 800 AGRP neurons in mice evoked voracious feeding within minutes. The behavioral response increased with photoexcitable neuron number, photostimulation frequency and stimulus duration. Conversely, POMC neuron stimulation reduced food intake and body weight, which required melanocortin receptor signaling. However, AGRP neuron-mediated feeding was not dependent on suppressing this melanocortin pathway, indicating that AGRP neurons directly engage feeding circuits. Furthermore, feeding was evoked selectively over drinking without training or prior photostimulus exposure, which suggests that AGRP neurons serve a dedicated role coordinating this complex behavior.

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Topics: Melanocortin (54%), Melanocortin receptor (53%), Photostimulation (52%) ... show more

804 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0002-8703(86)90296-6
Abstract: Triglycerides make up the overwhelming proportion of dietary fat consumed in the United States and other industrialized nations. Triglyceride elevation is directly associated with relative weight and age in both sexes, oral contraceptive use in women, and the development of diabetes mellitus. Triglyceride elevations are a highly significant independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) in women. They appear to be important in men with low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (

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Topics: Framingham Risk Score (54%), Triglyceride (52%), Risk factor (51%)

664 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/NN.2167
Qingchun Tong1, Chian Ping Ye2, Juli E. Jones2, Joel K. Elmquist  +1 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: The physiologic importance of GABAergic neurotransmission in hypothalamic neurocircuits is unknown. To examine the importance of GABA release from agouti-related protein (AgRP) neurons (which also release AgRP and neuropeptide Y), we generated mice with an AgRP neuron-specific deletion of vesicular GABA transporter. These mice are lean, resistant to obesity and have an attenuated hyperphagic response to ghrelin. Thus, GABA release from AgRP neurons is important in regulating energy balance.

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Topics: gamma-Aminobutyric acid (52%), Ghrelin (51%), Neuron (51%) ... show more

510 Citations


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