News
14/2/2020

Neurobiological mechanisms involved in the loss of control over food intake in a study in mice revealed

Neurobiological mechanisms involved in the loss of control over food intake in a study in mice revealed


News from DCEXS-UPF


Researchers at Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University (DCEXS-UPF), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Mainz (Germany), the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Instituto Cajal, Johannes Gutenberg University (Germany), the Autonomous University Barcelona and Hospital del Mar have identified for the first time the involvement of certain cortical areas in the brain in the loss of control over food intake. In the study, conducted in rodents and published today in Nature Communication, they have discovered a specific mechanism in this crucial cortical circuit for food addiction that involves a loss of control over intake. The study was led by the scientists Rafael Maldonado, Elena Martín-García and Beat Lutz.

In this new study, the researchers have identified the neurobiological mechanisms that allow the development of addictive behaviour to food. To do so, they used a rodent model that mimics the behavioural abnormalities associated with this addiction in humans and leads to a loss of control over food intake: high motivation and impulsiveness for food, and the compulsive search for food, despite the negative effects of such behaviour. They used innovative tools to characterize the features of resilience and vulnerability to the disorder at genetic, cellular and behavioural level.

 

Reference:
Domingo-Rodriguez et al. A specific prelimbic-nucleus accumbens pathway controls resilience versus vulnerability to food addiction. Nature Communications, February 2020. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14458-y.

More information:
DCEXS-UPF website