Hydration signals from the gut travel via the vagus nerve to activate thirst neurons in the SFO. These neurons signal to cells in the median preoptic nucleus, driving animals to drink and the kidneys to conserve water in the bloodstream.
Oxytocin, a hormone commonly associated with love and bonding in humans, causes starfish to turn their stomachs inside-out to feed. The findings provide vital new evidence for the evolutionary role of oxytocin and vasopressin neuropeptides as regulators of feeding in animals.
Lower levels of vasopressin were present in the cerebrospinal fluid of infants who later went on to be diagnosed with autism.
Early-life exposure to antibiotics may impact brain signaling pathways associated with social behavior and pain regulation. Young mice treated with antibiotics had reduced expression of receptors that mediate endorphin, oxytocin, and vasopressin signaling in the frontal cortex.
Drinking water can suppress the vasopressin hormone receptor, mitigating obesity and metabolic syndrome in mice.