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The gut hormone ghrelin targets the brain to promote food intake and adiposity. The ghrelin receptor growth hormone secretagogue 1 receptor (GHSR) is present in hypothalamic centers controlling energy metabolism as well as in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a region important for motivational aspects of multiple behaviors, including feeding. Here we show(More)
The leptin hormone is critical for normal food intake and metabolism. While leptin receptor (Lepr) function has been well studied in the hypothalamus, the functional relevance of Lepr expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) has not been investigated. The VTA contains dopamine neurons that are important in modulating motivated behavior, addiction, and(More)
The gut-derived hormone ghrelin exerts its effect on the brain by regulating neuronal activity. Ghrelin-induced feeding behaviour is controlled by arcuate nucleus neurons that co-express neuropeptide Y and agouti-related protein (NPY/AgRP neurons). However, the intracellular mechanisms triggered by ghrelin to alter NPY/AgRP neuronal activity are poorly(More)
Leptin inhibition of bone mass accrual requires the integrity of specific hypothalamic neurons but not expression of its receptor on these neurons. The same is true for its regulation of appetite and energy expenditure. This suggests that leptin acts elsewhere in the brain to achieve these three functions. We show here that brainstem-derived serotonin (BDS)(More)
Ghrelin targets the hypothalamus to regulate food intake and adiposity. Endogenous ghrelin receptors [growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR)] are also present in extrahypothalamic sites where they promote circuit activity associated with learning and memory, and reward seeking behavior. Here, we show that the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc), a(More)
Smoking decreases appetite, and smokers often report that they smoke to control their weight. Understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the anorexic effects of smoking would facilitate the development of novel treatments to help with smoking cessation and to prevent or treat obesity. By using a combination of pharmacological, molecular(More)
Despite evidence that waking is associated with net synaptic potentiation and sleep with depression, direct proof for changes in synaptic currents is lacking in large brain areas such as the cerebral cortex. By recording miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) from frontal cortex slices of mice and rats that had been awake or asleep, we found that the frequency and(More)
Previous studies have proposed roles for hypothalamic reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the modulation of circuit activity of the melanocortin system. Here we show that suppression of ROS diminishes pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) cell activation and promotes the activity of neuropeptide Y (NPY)- and agouti-related peptide (AgRP)-co-producing (NPY/AgRP) neurons(More)
Metabolic hormones, such as leptin, alter the input organization of hypothalamic circuits, resulting in increased pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) tone, followed by decreased food intake and adiposity. The gonadal steroid estradiol can also reduce appetite and adiposity, and it influences synaptic plasticity. Here we report that estradiol (E2) triggers a robust(More)
The lateral hypothalamic hypocretin (also called orexin) neurons have emerged as instrumental in triggering arousal and regulating energy metabolism. The lack of hypocretin signaling is the cause of narcolepsy while elevated hypocretin levels induce arousal, elevated food intake, and adiposity. Here, we report an unorthodox synaptic organization on the(More)