Examination distinguishes explicit brain cells that trigger sugar utilization and longings

Examination distinguishes explicit brain cells that trigger sugar utilization and longings


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: University of Iowa Health Care

  • Date: 18 Jul,2020

New research has identified the particular brain cells that control just how much sugar you eat and how much you crave sweet tasting meals.

Most people like a candy treat every now and then. However an unchecked”sweet tooth” can lead to overconsumption of sugary foods and chronic health problems such as obesity and type two diabetes. Knowing the biological mechanisms that control sugar intake and taste for sweet taste could have significant implications for managing and preventing these health problems.

The new study, led by Matthew Potthoff, PhD, associate professor of neuroscience and pharmacology in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and Matthew Gillum, PhD, at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, focuses on activities of a hormone called fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21). This hormone is known to play a role in energy balance, body weight control, and insulin sensitivity.

This is the first study that’s really identified where this hormone is acting in the brain and that has provided some very cool insights to how it’s regulating sugar intake.”-Matthew Potthoff, member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the UI and the Iowa Neuroscience Institute

Potthoff and his coworkers previously found that FGF21 is made in the liver in response to increased levels of sugar, and acts in the brain to suppress glucose intake and the preference for sweet taste.

Building on that finding, the team has shown, for the first time, which brain cells respond to FGF21’s signs and how interaction helps regulate glucose intake and sweet flavor preference.

Although it was understood that FGF21 acted from the mind, identifying the precise cellular targets was complicated by the fact that the hormone’s receptor is expressed at very low levels and is consequently hard to”see.” Using a variety of methods, the researchers were able to precisely identify which cells express the receptor for FGF21. By investigating these cells, the analysis shows that FGF21 targets glutamatergic neurons in the brain to lower sugar consumption and sweet flavor preference. The researchers also showed that FGF21’s action on particular neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus reduce glucose consumption by improving the neurons’ sensitivity to sugar.

Several drugs according to a modified kind of FGF21 happen to be tested as treatments for obesity and diabetes. The new findings could lead to new drugs that precisely target different behaviours controlled by FGF21, which could help to control how much sugar a individual eats.

University of Iowa Health Care

Journal reference:
Jensen-Cody, S.O., et al. (2020) FGF21 Signals to Glutamatergic Neurons in the Ventromedial Hypothalamus to Suppress Carbohydrate Intake. Cell Metabolism. doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2020.06.008.

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