The rising incidence of obesity is a huge health concern in the United States, is associated with a number of related health problems including diabetes and heart disease and is an enormous economic burden through associated healthcare costs. Obesity is a multifactorial disease, and environmental factors play a large role in motivating of feeding behavior. Although it is known that environmental cues can potentiate feeding through Pavlovian mechanisms, the neural circuitry underlying this phenomenon has not yet been systematically analyzed. This proposal seeks to identify this neural circuitry using a conditioned cue- induced feeding (CIF) task. The first specific aim is to characterize the brain regions involved during cue- induced feeding using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and immediate early gene (IEG) mapping. The second specific aim is to identify the genetic identity of activated neurons and to optogenetically and chemogenetically silence and/or activate those neurons. The research described here will shed light on the neural circuitry underlying feeding behaviors that lead to obesity and may provide entry points for potential therapeutics.

Public Health Relevance

Obesity is a major public health concern in the United States that affects one third of adults and leads to related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Although it is known that environmental cues can lead to an increase in eating past metabolic needs, the neural circuitry underlying this effect has not been well defined. The aim of this research proposal is to identify this neural circuitry in order to enhance the scientific understanding of the neurobiology of obesity and provide potential molecular targets for therapeutic intervention.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Type
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
Project #
5F32DK107077-03
Application #
9432524
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDK1)
Program Officer
Castle, Arthur
Project Start
2016-03-15
Project End
2019-03-14
Budget Start
2018-03-15
Budget End
2019-03-14
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2018
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Rockefeller University
Department
Genetics
Type
Graduate Schools
DUNS #
071037113
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10065