Central amygdala circuits that regulate appetite behavior

Munich Psychiatry Lecture Series | MPLS

  • Date: Jan 29, 2019
  • Time: 15:00 - 16:00
  • Speaker: Dr. Rüdiger Klein
  • Department: Molecules - Signaling - Development | Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology
  • Location: Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry
  • Room: Lecture Hall
  • Host: International Max Planck Research School for Translational Psychiatry (IMPRS-TP)
  • Contact: imprs-tp@psych.mpg.de
Central amygdala circuits that regulate appetite behavior
The complex behaviors underlying reward seeking and consumption are integral to organism survival. The hypothalamus and mesolimbic dopamine system are key mediators of these behaviors, yet regulation of appetitive and consummatory behaviors outside of these regions is poorly understood. The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) has been implicated in feeding and reward, but the neurons and circuit mechanisms that positively regulate these behaviors have remained unclear until recently. We have defined the neuronal mechanisms by which CeA neurons promote food consumption.

Using in vivo activity manipulations and Ca2+ imaging in mice, we found that GABAergic serotonin receptor 2a (Htr2a)-expressing CeA neurons modulate food consumption, promote positive reinforcement and are active in vivo during eating. We have demonstrated electrophysiologically, anatomically and behaviorally that intra-CeA and long-range circuit mechanisms underlie these behaviors. We have also shown that CeAHtr2a neurons receive inputs from feeding-relevant brain regions. These results have illustrated how defined CeA neural circuits positively regulate food consumption (Douglas, Kucukdereli, Ponserre, et al., Nat. Neurosci., 2017). More recently, we have begun to anatomically and functionally map the inputs and outputs of the two major central amygdala subpopulations, the appetite-stimulating CeAHtr2a neurons and anorexigenic CeAPKCδ neurons, to learn how the central amygdala participates in learning processes that link environmental cues with food availability or food quality.

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