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Hindbrain Double-Negative Feedback Mediates Palatability-Guided Food and Water Consumption

Scientific Research

Authors: Rong Gong, Shengjin Xu, Ann Hermundstad, Yang Yu, Scott M. Sternson
Publication: Cell
Date: August 24, 2020
Link to article: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30939-9?__hssc=91116613.22.160…


Hunger and thirst have distinct goals but control similar ingestive behaviors, and little is known about neural processes that are shared between these behavioral states. We identify glutamatergic neurons in the peri-locus coeruleus (periLCVGLUT2 neurons) as a polysynaptic convergence node from separate energy-sensitive and hydration-sensitive cell populations. We develop methods for stable hindbrain calcium imaging in free-moving mice, which show that periLC VGLUT2neurons are tuned to ingestive behaviors and respond similarly to food or water consumption. PeriLC VGLUT2 neurons are scalably inhibited by palatability and homeostatic need during consumption. Inhibition of periLC VGLUT2 neurons is rewarding and increases consumption by enhancing palatability and prolonging ingestion duration. These properties comprise a double-negative feedback relationship that sustains food or water consumption without affecting food- or water-seeking. PeriLC VGLUT2 neurons are a hub between hunger and thirst that specifically controls motivation for food and water ingestion, which is a factor that contributes to hedonic overeating and obesity.

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