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Neuroimage. 2009 Feb 1;44(3):1022-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.09.047. Epub 2008 Oct 15.

Differential patterns of neuronal activation in the brainstem and hypothalamus following peripheral injection of GLP-1, oxyntomodulin and lithium chloride in mice detected by manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI).

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Department of Investigative Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, UK.


We have used manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI) to show distinct patterns of neuronal activation within the hypothalamus and brainstem of fasted mice in response to peripheral injection of the anorexigenic agents glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), oxyntomodulin (OXM) and lithium chloride. Administration of both GLP-1 and OXM resulted in a significant increase in signal intensity (SI) in the area postrema of fasted mice, reflecting an increase in neuronal activity within the brainstem. In the hypothalamus, GLP-1 administration induced a significant reduction in SI in the paraventricular nucleus and an increase in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus whereas OXM reduced SI in the arcuate and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus. These data indicate that whilst these related peptides both induce a similar effect on neuronal activity in the brainstem they generate distinct patterns of activation within the hypothalamus. Furthermore, the hypothalamic pattern of signal intensity generated by GLP-1 closely matches that generated by peripheral injection of LiCl, suggesting the anorexigenic effects of GLP-1 may be in part transmitted via nausea circuits. This work provides a framework by which the temporal effects of appetite modulating agents can be recorded simultaneously within hypothalamic and brainstem feeding centres.

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