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Dev Psychobiol. 2006 Jul;48(5):389-96.

Ontogeny of hypothalamic-hindbrain feeding control circuits.

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Department of Neuroscience, 446 Crawford Hall, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


Ingestive behavior is a complex product of distributed central control systems that respond to a diverse array of internal and external sensory stimuli. Relatively little is known regarding the pathways and mechanisms by which relevant signals are conveyed to the neural circuits that ultimately control ingestive motor output. This report summarizes findings regarding the postnatal development of descending hypothalamic inputs to the hindbrain dorsal vagal complex (DVC). Evidence accumulated primarily in rats indicates that descending neural projections from the hypothalamus to the DVC are both structurally and functionally immature at birth. The progressive postnatal maturation of these projections occurs in parallel with newly emerging physiological and behavioral responsiveness to treatments and stimuli that affect food intake in adults. Thus, the postnatal emergence of new feeding controls may reflect the emerging access of these controls to DVC neural circuits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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