Following a meal, astrocytes associated with POMC neurons in the hypothalamus alter their shape. After eating, glucose levels increase temporarily. Astrocytes detect the signal and react within one hour, causing POMC neurons to activate and promote the feeling of satiety.
A new study identifies a novel neural network regulating feeding and mood in response to chronic stress. Inhibiting the POMC to ventral tegmental area circuit increases body weight and food intake while reducing depressive symptoms in mouse models.
POMC, a gene which regulates the stress response system, and PER2, a gene associated with circadian regulation, are altered in women who drank moderate-to-high amounts of alcohol during pregnancy and their newborns.
Newly identified network in the hypothalamus alters feeding behaviors on a shorter timescale. The pathway affects food intake and body weight by releasing GABA, which may occur due to the detection, and not the consumption of food.
Researchers say the sight and smell of food alone may be enough to prompt the liver to start the processes that help digest food.
New findings revise the current models for homeostatic control, researchers report.