Modulation of SF1 neuron activity coordinately regulates both feeding behaviour and associated emotional states

Viskaitis, P. et al. (2017) Modulation of SF1 neuron activity coordinately regulates both feeding behaviour and associated emotional states. Cell Reports, 21(12), pp. 3559-3572. (doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.11.089) (PMID:29262334) (PMCID:PMC5746599)

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Feeding requires the integration of homeostatic drives with emotional states relevant to food procurement in potentially hostile environments. The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) regulates feeding and anxiety, but how these are controlled in a concerted manner remains unclear. Using pharmacogenetic, optogenetic, and calcium imaging approaches with a battery of behavioral assays, we demonstrate that VMH steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1) neurons constitute a nutritionally sensitive switch, modulating the competing motivations of feeding and avoidance of potentially dangerous environments. Acute alteration of SF1 neuronal activity alters food intake via changes in appetite and feeding-related behaviors, including locomotion, exploration, anxiety, and valence. In turn, intrinsic SF1 neuron activity is low during feeding and increases with both feeding termination and stress. Our findings identify SF1 neurons as a key part of the neurocircuitry that controls both feeding and related affective states, giving potential insights into the relationship between disordered eating and stress-associated psychological disorders in humans.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alvarez-Curto, Dr Elisa and Milligan, Professor Graeme
Authors: Viskaitis, P., Irvine, E. E., Smith, M. A., Choudhury, A. I., Alvarez-Curto, E., Glegola, J. A., Hardy, D. G., Pedroni, S. M.A., Paiva Pessoa, M. R., Fernando, A. B.P., Katsouri, L., Sardini, A., Ungless, M. A., Milligan, G., and Withters, D. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Molecular Biosciences
Journal Name:Cell Reports
Publisher:Elsevier (Cell Press)
ISSN (Online):2211-1247
Published Online:19 December 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Cell Reports 21(12):3559-3572
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
618921GPR120: a G protein-coupled receptor with the potential to regulate insulin secretion and inflammationGraeme MilliganBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/K019864/1RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY