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Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 4;9(1):52. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02534-9.

A neural basis for antagonistic control of feeding and compulsive behaviors.

Author information

1
Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine of McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
2
Graduate Program in Neuroscience of MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
3
Department of Pediatrics, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
4
Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
5
Department of Neuroscience and Jan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
6
Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine of McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. qingchun.tong@uth.tmc.edu.
7
Graduate Program in Neuroscience of MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. qingchun.tong@uth.tmc.edu.
8
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy of McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. qingchun.tong@uth.tmc.edu.

Abstract

Abnormal feeding often co-exists with compulsive behaviors, but the underlying neural basis remains unknown. Excessive self-grooming in rodents is associated with compulsivity. Here, we show that optogenetically manipulating the activity of lateral hypothalamus (LH) projections targeting the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) differentially promotes either feeding or repetitive self-grooming. Whereas selective activation of GABAergic LH→PVH inputs induces feeding, activation of glutamatergic inputs promotes self-grooming. Strikingly, targeted stimulation of GABAergic LH→PVH leads to rapid and reversible transitions to feeding from induced intense self-grooming, while activating glutamatergic LH→PVH or PVH neurons causes rapid and reversible transitions to self-grooming from voracious feeding induced by fasting. Further, specific inhibition of either LH→PVH GABAergic action or PVH neurons reduces self-grooming induced by stress. Thus, we have uncovered a parallel LH→PVH projection circuit for antagonistic control of feeding and self-grooming through dynamic modulation of PVH neuron activity, revealing a common neural pathway that underlies feeding and compulsive behaviors.

PMID:
29302029
PMCID:
PMC5754347
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-017-02534-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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