PerspectiveBehavior

A new brain circuit in feeding control

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Science  06 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6397, pp. 29-30
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau1419

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Summary

The discovery of the anorexigenic (loss of feeding) adipose-derived hormone leptin (1) and its action on part of the brain, the central melanocortin system (2), confirmed earlier predictions of a crucial role of peptides produced by the neurons in this system, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and proopiomelanocortin (POMC), in the control of appetite and feeding (3). Further studies reaffirmed the relevance of these circuits in metabolism regulation by the use of increasingly sophisticated methods (4, 5). On page 76 of this issue, Luo et al. (6) reveal the unsuspected role of another hypothalamic neuronal population in control of feeding, consisting of cells that express the neuropeptide somatostatin (SST), in the nucleus tuberalis lateralis (NTL). This finding adds to the neurological components that regulate food intake and thus body weight.