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Annu Rev Physiol. 2014;76:197-223. doi: 10.1146/annurev-physiol-021113-170347. Epub 2013 Nov 18.

Feed your head: neurodevelopmental control of feeding and metabolism.

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1
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125.

Abstract

During critical periods of development early in life, excessive or scarce nutritional environments can disrupt the development of central feeding and metabolic neural circuitry, leading to obesity and metabolic disorders in adulthood. A better understanding of the genetic networks that control the development of feeding and metabolic neural circuits, along with knowledge of how and where dietary signals disrupt this process, can serve as the basis for future therapies aimed at reversing the public health crisis that is now building as a result of the global obesity epidemic. This review of animal and human studies highlights recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of central feeding circuitries, the mechanisms by which gestational and early postnatal nutritional status affects this process, and approaches aimed at counteracting the deleterious effects of early over- and underfeeding.

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