Signals of energy homeostasis interact closely with neural circuits of motivation to control food intake. An emerging hypothesis is that the transition to maladaptive feeding behavior seen in eating disorders or obesity may arise from dysregulation of these interactions. Focusing on key brain regions involved in the control of food intake (ventral tegmental area, striatum, hypothalamus, and thalamus), we describe how activity of specific cell types embedded within these regions can influence distinct components of motivated feeding behavior. We review how signals of energy homeostasis interact with these regions to influence motivated behavioral output and present evidence that experience-dependent neural adaptations in key feeding circuits may represent cellular correlates of impaired food intake control. Future research into mechanisms that restore the balance of control between signals of homeostasis and motivated feeding behavior may inspire new treatment options for eating disorders and obesity.
Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/3611469-13$15.00/0.
AGRP; POMC; accumbens; arculate nucleus; dieting; dopamine; ghrelin; glucose; insulin; leptin; orexin; paraventricular thalamic nucleus; reward
- PMID: 27911750