Neural circuits control metabolism and food intake
New review published in Science
The number of overweight and obese people is steadily increasing. They are at increased risk for a variety of diseases associated with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Since metabolism in the body is centrally controlled by the brain, it is important to understand the basic neurobiological mechanisms and how changes in these pathways influence the development of obesity and the occurrence of obesity-associated diseases. The goal is to develop therapeutic interventions for these widespread diseases.
In a joint review article in Science, Jens Brüning and Henning Fenselau discuss recent advances in understanding the neurobiology underlying the regulation of food intake, energy balance and glucose metabolism. They describe the different nerve cell populations in the hypothalamus and their neural circuitry in the brain that play a crucial role in this regulation. They also describe how this new knowledge has led and will continue to lead to the development of new treatments for obesity and metabolic diseases.