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Cell Metab. 2012 Sep 5;16(3):296-309. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.06.015. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Hindbrain neurons as an essential hub in the neuroanatomically distributed control of energy balance.

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  • 1Graduate Group of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


This Review highlights the processing and integration performed by hindbrain nuclei, focusing on the inputs received by nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) neurons. These inputs include vagally mediated gastrointestinal satiation signals, blood-borne energy-related hormonal and nutrient signals, and descending neural signals from the forebrain. We propose that NTS (and hindbrain neurons, more broadly) integrate these multiple energy status signals and issue-output commands controlling the behavioral, autonomic, and endocrine responses that collectively govern energy balance. These hindbrain-mediated controls are neuroanatomically distributed; they involve endemic hindbrain neurons and circuits, hindbrain projections to peripheral circuits, and projections to and from midbrain and forebrain nuclei.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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