Navigation Links
Obesity research boosted by watching hunger in the brain

Scientists can now measure how full or hungry a mouse feels, thanks to a new technique which uses imaging to reveal how neurons behave in the part of the brain which regulates appetite.

Researchers hope the technique, which uses magnetic resonance imaging, will enable a far greater understanding of why certain people become obese when others do not, and why different people have different appetites. The new study, led by researchers from Imperial College London, is described in a paper published today in the Journal of Neuroscience.

It had previously been very difficult to measure satiety, which is the psychological feeling of being full and satisfied rather than physical fullness. To judge satiety scientists have relied on asking volunteers in trials how full they feel, or watching how much food is eaten, rather than using more objective measures.

Scientists had already identified the part of the hypothalamus area of the brain which regulates appetite. In the new study, the researchers discovered that they could see the neurons there firing if they used a contrast agent of manganese ion to make the neurons visible on a magnetic resonance imaging scan.

When the mouse was hungry and hence the neurons showed increased activity, the contrast agent was taken up, making the neurons light up on the scan. The intensity of this signal decreased as the mouse became less hungry and the neurons became less active.

Scientists already use different contrast agents to look at the anatomy of different cells in the body. The new research is the first to identify which contrast agent is taken up by the hunger neurons and hence allow researchers to observe how they behave in response to different stimuli.

Professor Jimmy Bell, corresponding author of the study from the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre at Imperial College London, said: Appetite and appetite control are important components of why people put on weight. We know very little about the mechanisms behind these processes and why they can vary so much between individuals. In the past we have had to rely on asking people how hungry they feel, this can be very subjective. Furthermore, sometimes your sense of satiety can be significantly affected by other factors such as your mood.

Our new method is much more reliable and completely objective. With murine models, we can now look directly at neuronal activity in the brain. We are working on developing similar methods to study neuronal activity in the appetite centers in people, he added.

For the study, mice given the contrast agent were also given one of two types of hormone. These were either pancreatic peptide YY (PYY), which is known to inhibit appetite, or ghrelin, which is known to increase it. The scientists then monitored the reactions of the hunger neurons to these stimuli. As expected, the intensity of the neurons signals increased when ghrelin was administered and decreased with PYY.


Contact: Laura Gallagher
Imperial College London

Related medicine news :

1. Virus Could Help Drive Obesity
2. Surgery for severe obesity saves lives
3. Obesity Doesnt Always Equal Diabetes
4. Obesity Rate in U.S. Still Climbing
5. Treating diabetes during pregnancy can break link to childhood obesity
6. ZIP codes and property values predict obesity rates
7. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
8. Research Links TV/Video Game Playing With Child Obesity; Health Experts Back a New Approach
9. UT Southwesterns obesity research receives $22 million NIH Roadmap grant
10. Genaera Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board for Obesity Drug Candidate Trodusquemine (MSI-1436)
11. Cities Say Restaurant Nutrition Information Crucial in Fighting Obesity
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... Bangalore, Karnataka (PRWEB) , ... ... ... an innovative online platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated ... self-empowerment, to holistically address their reader’s queries on topics on mental and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... clean water accessible for all, Water For Empowerment ™ attracts volunteers together ... on clean water by empowering women as key stakeholders in the process. The ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Neb. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... staffing companies, has been recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with ... to Work.” , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Ministers, senior government and UN agencies, representatives from ... Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and other partners gathered today at ... Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders Meeting. The three- day meeting ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... da Vinci surgical robot is being more and more widely heralded as a breakthrough ... assisted da Vinci method has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can greatly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... potential att använda SyMRI för att hitta ... patienter med multipel skleros (MS) eller hjärntumörmetastaser ... AB för att kunna använda SyMRI Research ... SyMRI kan man generera flera konstrastbilder från ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... adds "Global Repaglinide Industry ... Report on China Repaglinide Market, 2010-2019" ... data and information to its online ... . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, ... Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: