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Bioessays. 2016 Apr;38(4):316-24. doi: 10.1002/bies.201500167. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Making sense of the sensory regulation of hunger neurons.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

AgRP and POMC neurons are two key cell types that regulate feeding in response to hormones and nutrients. Recently, it was discovered that these neurons are also rapidly modulated by the mere sight and smell of food. This rapid sensory regulation "resets" the activity of AgRP and POMC neurons before a single bite of food has been consumed. This surprising and counterintuitive discovery challenges longstanding assumptions about the function and regulation of these cells. Here we review these recent findings and discuss their implications for our understanding of feeding behavior. We propose several alternative hypotheses for how these new observations might be integrated into a revised model of the feeding circuit, and also highlight some of the key questions that remain to be answered.

KEYWORDS:

anticipatory; arcuate nucleus; feeding; homeostasis; hunger; hypothalamus; neural circuit

PMID:
26898524
PMCID:
PMC4899083
DOI:
10.1002/bies.201500167
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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