Cover Story Current Issue

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a set of pathologies associated with ectopic lipid accumulationin hepatocytes. NAFLD can progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an inflammatory condition which is increasing in prevalence in parallel with other diseases connected to lipid metabolism, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. NASH is characterized by hepatic necrosis, increased inflammatory signaling, immune cell infiltration, and the potential to progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and ultimately liver failure.

David Montefusco, Maryam Jamil, Melissa A. Maczis, William Schroeder, ... L. Ashley Cowart

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Current Issue

Refeeding activates neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus to inhibit food intake and promote positive valence

Daigo Imoto, Izumi Yamamoto, Hirokazu Matsunaga, Toya Yonekura, ... Chitoku Toda

Objective

The regulation of food intake is a major research area in the study of obesity, which plays a key role in the development of metabolic syndrome. Gene targeting studies have clarified the roles of hypothalamic neurons in feeding behavior, but the deletion of a gene has a long-term effect on neurophysiology. Our understanding of short-term changes such as appetite under physiological conditions is therefore still limited.

Methods

Targeted recombination in active populations (TRAP) is a newly developed method for labeling active neurons by using tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombination controlled by the promoter of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1), a member of immediate early genesTransgenic mice for TRAP were fasted overnight, re-fed with normal diet, and injected with 4-hydroxytamoxifen 1 h after the refeeding to label the active neurons. The role of labeled neurons was examined by expressing excitatory or inhibitory designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs). The labeled neurons were extracted and RNA sequencing was performed to identify genes that are specifically expressed in these neurons.

Results

Fasting-refeeding activated and labeled neurons in the compact part of the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) that project to the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Chemogenetic activation of the labeled DMH neurons decreased food intake and developed place preference, an indicator of positive valence. Chemogenetic activation or inhibition of these neurons had no influence on the whole-body glucose metabolism. The labeled DMH neurons expressed prodynorphin (pdyn), gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), cholecystokinin (CCK), and thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor (Trhr) genes.

Conclusions

We identified a novel cell type of DMH neurons that can inhibit food intake and promote feeding-induced positive valence. Our study provides insight into the role of DMH and its molecular mechanism in the regulation of appetite and emotion.

 

Refeeding activates neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus to inhibit food intake and promote positive valence

Daigo Imoto, Izumi Yamamoto, Hirokazu Matsunaga, Toya Yonekura, ... Chitoku Toda

Objective

The regulation of food intake is a major research area in the study of obesity, which plays a key role in the development of metabolic syndrome. Gene targeting studies have clarified the roles of hypothalamic neurons in feeding behavior, but the deletion of a gene has a long-term effect on neurophysiology. Our understanding of short-term changes such as appetite under physiological conditions is therefore still limited.

Methods

Targeted recombination in active populations (TRAP) is a newly developed method for labeling active neurons by using tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombination controlled by the promoter of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc/Arg3.1), a member of immediate early genesTransgenic mice for TRAP were fasted overnight, re-fed with normal diet, and injected with 4-hydroxytamoxifen 1 h after the refeeding to label the active neurons. The role of labeled neurons was examined by expressing excitatory or inhibitory designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs). The labeled neurons were extracted and RNA sequencing was performed to identify genes that are specifically expressed in these neurons.

Results

Fasting-refeeding activated and labeled neurons in the compact part of the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) that project to the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus. Chemogenetic activation of the labeled DMH neurons decreased food intake and developed place preference, an indicator of positive valence. Chemogenetic activation or inhibition of these neurons had no influence on the whole-body glucose metabolism. The labeled DMH neurons expressed prodynorphin (pdyn), gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP), cholecystokinin (CCK), and thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor (Trhr) genes.

Conclusions

We identified a novel cell type of DMH neurons that can inhibit food intake and promote feeding-induced positive valence. Our study provides insight into the role of DMH and its molecular mechanism in the regulation of appetite and emotion.

 

2021 impact factor: 8.568

The 60 Second Metabolist

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