Nat Neurosci.: auth.: group Thorens

Nat Neurosci. 2016 Jun 20. doi: 10.1038/nn.4331. [Epub ahead of print]

Glucose-responsive neurons of the paraventricular thalamus control sucrose-seeking behavior.


Feeding behavior is governed by homeostatic needs and motivational drive to obtain palatable foods. Here, we identify a population of glutamatergic neurons in the paraventricular thalamus of mice that express the glucose transporter Glut2 (encoded by Slc2a2) and project to the nucleus accumbens. These neurons are activated by hypoglycemia and, in freely moving mice, their activation by optogenetics or Slc2a2 inactivation increases motivated sucrose-seeking but not saccharin-seeking behavior. These neurons may control sugar overconsumption in obesity and diabetes.