The UA Department of Neuroscience team found the neurocircuitry controlling appetite loss, called anorexia, said assistant professor Haijiang Cai, who is a member of the BIO5 Institute and heads up the neuroscience lab that ran the study.
Anorexia can be triggered by disease-induced inflammation, and can negatively impact recovery and treatment success. It is harmful to quality of life and increases morbidity in many diseases, the authors wrote. The paper, "A bed nucleus of stria terminalis microcircuit regulating inflammation-associated modulation of feeding," was published June 24 in Nature Communications.
Neurons - Amygdala - Control - Behavior - Researchers
To determine if the specific neurons within the amygdala control feeding behavior, researchers inhibited the neurons, which increased appetite. They then activated the neurons, causing a decrease in appetite.
"By silencing the neurons within the circuit, we can effectively block feeding suppression caused by inflammation to make patients eat more," Cai said. "We used anorexia for simplification, but for people...
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