Navigation Links
Neurons that control overeating also drive appetite for cocaine
Date:6/24/2012

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have zeroed in on a set of neurons in the part of the brain that controls hunger, and found that these neurons are not only associated with overeating, but also linked to non-food associated behaviors, like novelty-seeking and drug addiction.

Published in the June 24 online issue of Nature Neuroscience, the study was led by Marcelo O. Dietrich, postdoctoral associate, and Tamas L. Horvath, the Jean and David W. Wallace Professor of Biomedical Research and chair of comparative medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

In attempts to develop treatments for metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes, researchers have paid increasing attention to the brain's reward circuits located in the midbrain, with the notion that in these patients, food may become a type of "drug of abuse" similar to cocaine. Dietrich notes, however, that this study flips the common wisdom on its head.

"Using genetic approaches, we found that increased appetite for food can actually be associated with decreased interest in novelty as well as in cocaine, and on the other hand, less interest in food can predict increased interest in cocaine," said Dietrich.

Horvath and his team studied two sets of transgenic mice. In one set, they knocked out a signaling molecule that controls hunger-promoting neurons in the hypothalamus. In the other set, they interfered with the same neurons by eliminating them selectively during development using diphtheria toxin. The mice were given various non-invasive tests that measured how they respond to novelty, and anxiety, and how they react to cocaine.

"We found that animals that have less interest in food are more interested in novelty-seeking behaviors and drugs like cocaine," said Horvath. "This suggests that there may be individuals with increased drive of the reward circuitry, but who are still lean. This is a complex trait that arises from the activity of the basic feeding circuits during development, which then impacts the adult response to drugs and novelty in the environment."

Horvath and his team argue that the hypothalamus, which controls vital functions such as body temperature, hunger, thirst fatigue and sleep, is key to the development of higher brain functions. "These hunger-promoting neurons are critically important during development to establish the set point of higher brain functions, and their impaired function may be the underlying cause for altered motivated and cognitive behaviors," he said.

"There is this contemporary view that obesity is associated with the increased drive of the reward circuitry," Horvath added. "But here, we provide a contrasting view: that the reward aspect can be very high, but subjects can still be very lean. At the same time, it indicates that a set of people who have no interest in food, might be more prone to drug addiction."


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen N. Peart
203-432-1326
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Specific protein triggers changes in neurons in brain reward center linked to cocaine addiction
2. Surgical sling reduces risk of weakened bladder control after prolapse surgery, U-M study says
3. Tai Chi increases brain size, benefits cognition in randomized controlled trial of Chinese elderly
4. FirstVitals Health and Wellness, Inc. awarded $4 Million CMS Innovation Grant for Unique Telehealth Diabetes Progam Focused on Glycemic Control and Prevention of Diabetic Foot Complications
5. This your brain on no self-control
6. Control gene for conveyor belt cells could help improve oral vaccines, treat intestinal disease
7. Control of disease activity and biologic treatment increase life expectency in RA patients
8. Exercise Controls Weight in White Girls Better Than in Black Girls: Study
9. Tight Blood-Sugar Control Shows Mixed Results for Health of Kidneys: Study
10. Aggressively controlling glucose levels may not reduce kidney failure in Type 2 diabetes
11. Birth Control Pills, HRT Tied to Digestive Ills
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... Palm Beach, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... Vision Institute in San Diego, California. The laser eye center will now be called ... recognized surgeons and attentive staff will remain at the full-service facility to ensure that ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Through intensive lectures and hands-on exercises, the Wharton Seminars for Business ... gain a better understanding of key business and economic issues.  This one-day ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... conditions and Make-A-Wish grants the most heartfelt wishes of these children. The ... of medical treatment. President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Mississippi, Brent Wilson said, ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Chicago, IL (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... that employers continue to face challenges in getting employees to understand and use the ... (ACA). One of the nation’s leading non-profit business groups of large, self-insured public and ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... A local ... that more than 40 percent of participating fifth-grade students already have or are ... and Asthma Clinical Research in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/5/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... in the USA"  report to their offering.  ,     (Logo: ... the current Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner and cyclotron ... market. Along with the current known number of PET ... , the report also contains a detailed breakdown of ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... 5, 2016 Research ... "Europe Thalassaemia Market and Competitive Landscape Highlights ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) ... and Competitive Landscape Highlights - 2016, provides ... epidemiology, Thalassaemia market valuations and forecast, Thalassaemia ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... 4, 2016  It,s time for an upgrade. There are many medical recorders on ... inch LCD, the illustrious DVMAXX HD  offers unparalleled connectivity and functionality.  Ampronix  is ... world class manufacturer of innovative technology.  Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160503/363416 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: