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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Synthesis, Biophysical, and Pharmacological Evaluation of the Melanocortin Agonist AST3-88: Modifications of Peptide Backbone at Trp 7 Position Lead to a Potent, Selective, and Stable Ligand of the Melanocortin 4 Receptor (MC4R).
ACS Chem Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2014
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The melanocortin-3 (MC3R) and melanocortin-4 (MC4R) receptors are expressed in the brain and are implicated in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis. The endogenous agonist ligands for these receptors (?-, ?-, ?-MSH and ACTH) are linear peptides with limited receptor subtype selectivity and metabolic stability, thus minimizing their use as probes to characterize the overlapping pharmacological and physiological functions of the melanocortin receptor subtypes. In the present study, an engineered template, in which the peptide backbone was modified by a heterocyclic reverse turn mimetic at the Trp(7) residue, was synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesis and characterized by a ?-galactosidase cAMP based reporter gene assay. The functional assay identified a ?5 nM mouse MC4R agonist (AST3-88) with more than 50-fold selectivity over the mMC3R. Biophysical studies (2D (1)H NMR spectroscopy and molecular dynamics) of AST3-88 identified a type VIII ?-turn secondary structure spanning the pharmacophore domain stabilized by the intramolecular interactions between the side chains of the His and Trp residues. Enzymatic studies of AST3-88 revealed enhanced stability of AST3-88 over the ?-MSH endogenous peptide in rat serum. Upon central administration of AST3-88 into rats, a decreased food intake response was observed. This is the first study to probe the in vivo physiological activity of this engineered peptide-heterocycle template. These findings advance the present knowledge of pharmacophore design for potent, selective, and metabolically stable melanocortin ligands.
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Functional relationship between oxytocin and appetite for carbohydrates versus saccharin.
Neuroreport
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2014
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Centrally acting oxytocin (OT) inhibits feeding. Recent evidence suggests a link between OT and control of carbohydrate and saccharin intake, but it is unclear whether OT affects appetite for only carbohydrates, especially sweet ones, or sweet tastants irrespective of their carbohydrate content. Therefore, a blood-brain barrier penetrant OT receptor antagonist, L-368,899, was administered in mice and intake of liquid diets containing carbohydrates sucrose, glucose, fructose, polycose, or cornstarch (CS) or the noncarbohydrate, noncaloric sweetener saccharin was studied in episodic intake paradigms: one in which only one tastant was available and the other in which a choice between a carbohydrate (sucrose, glucose, or fructose) and saccharin was provided. We also used real-time PCR to examine hypothalamic Ot mRNA levels in mice provided short-term access to sucrose, CS, or saccharin. In the no-choice paradigm, L-368,899 increased the intake of all carbohydrates, whereas its effect on saccharin consumption showed only a trend. A 10 times lower dose (0.3?mg/kg) stimulated intake of sucrose than other carbohydrates. In the choice test, a very low 0.1?mg/kg dose of L-368,899 doubled the proportion of sucrose consumption relative to saccharin, but did not affect fructose or glucose preference. Ot gene expression increased after sucrose and CS, but not saccharin exposure compared with the controls; however, a higher level of significance was detected in the sucrose group. We conclude that OT inhibits appetite for carbohydrates. Sucrose consumption considerably enhances Ot gene expression and is particularly sensitive to OT receptor blockade, suggesting a special functional relationship between OT and sugar intake.
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A non-peptide oxytocin receptor agonist, WAY-267,464, alleviates novelty-induced hypophagia in mice: insights into changes in c-Fos immunoreactivity.
Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2014
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Anxiety caused by the novelty of food or of the environment where the food is presented leads to suppression of consumption (hyponeophagia) reflected by an increased latency to begin feeding and decreased food intake. Studies suggest that some anxiolytics, mainly benzodiazepines and SSRIs, resolve hyponeophagia. Though the neurohormone oxytocin (OT) affects both anxiety responsiveness and feeding-related homeostasis, the link between OT and hyponeophagia has not been established. The current experiments examined the effect of OT receptor stimulation on hyponeophagia in mice and associated changes in brain activity. We found that the OT receptor agonist, WAY-267,464, at 10 and 30 mg/kg b. wt. IP, reduced the latency to approach food and increased the amount of food eaten in hyponeophagia tests differing in animals' motivation to eat (hunger, reward) and the anxiogenic context of environmental novelty (illumination and type of the cage). This effect was abolished by the pretreatment with the OT receptor antagonist, L-368,899, at 10mg/kg b. wt. The antagonist also suppressed social transmission of preference for novel food. Mice subjected to novelty conditions causing hypophagia showed significant changes in c-Fos immunoreactivity in the hippocampus, lateral septum, cingulate and piriform cortex and in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, lateral division, posterolateral part (STLP). The pretreatment with WAY-267,464 restored c-Fos levels in the STLP to values detected in control animals subjected to non-anxiogenic conditions. We conclude that OT plays a role in shaping the magnitude of the novelty stress-provoked hypophagia and the activity of the relevant neural networks.
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Exposure to a high-fat high-sugar diet causes strong up-regulation of proopiomelanocortin and differentially affects dopamine D1 and D2 receptor gene expression in the brainstem of rats.
Neurosci. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 07-15-2013
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A strong link between obesity and dopamine (DA) has been established by studies associating body weight status to variants of genes related to DA signalling. Human and animal studies investigating this relationship have so far focused mainly on the role of DA within the mesolimbic pathway. The aim of this study was to investigate potential DA receptor dysregulation in the brainstem, where these receptors play a potential role in meal termination, during high-fat high-sugar diet (HFHS) exposure. Expression of other key genes, including proopiomelanocortin (POMC), was also analyzed. We randomized rats into three groups; ad libitum access to HFHS (n=24), restricted HFHS access (n=10), or controls (chow-fed, n=10). After 5 weeks, brainstem gene expression was investigated by qRT-PCR. We observed an increase in POMC expression in ad libitum HFHS-fed rats compared to chow-fed controls (p<0.01). Further, expression of DA D2 receptor mRNA was down-regulated in the brainstem of the HFHS ad libitum-fed rats (p<0.05), whereas expression of the DA D1 receptor was upregulated (p<0.01) in these animals compared to chow-fed rats. In control experiments, we observed no effect relative to chow-fed controls on DA-receptor or POMC gene expression in the hypothalamus of HFHS diet-exposed rats, or in the brainstem of acutely food deprived rats. The present findings suggest brainstem POMC to be responsive to palatable foods, and that DA dysregulation after access to energy-dense diets occurs not only in striatal regions, but also in the brainstem, which could be relevant for overeating and for the development and maintenance of obesity.
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Oxytocin receptor blockade reduces acquisition but not retrieval of taste aversion and blunts responsiveness of amygdala neurons to an aversive stimulus.
Peptides
PUBLISHED: 06-07-2013
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When gastrointestinal sickness induced by toxin injection is associated with exposure to novel food, the animal acquires a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). Malaise is accompanied by a surge in oxytocin release and in oxytocin neuronal activity; however, it is unclear whether oxytocin is a key facilitator of aversion or merely its marker. Herein we investigated whether blockade of the oxytocin receptor with the blood-brain barrier penetrant oxytocin receptor antagonist L-368,899 is detrimental for the acquisition and/or retrieval of lithium chloride (LiCl)-dependent CTA to a saccharin solution in mice. We also examined whether L-368,899 given prior to LiCl affects neuronal activity defined through c-Fos immunohistochemistry in select brain sites facilitating CTA acquisition. L-368,899 given prior to LiCl caused a 30% increase in saccharin solution intake in a two-bottle test, but when the antagonist was administered before the two-bottle test, it failed to diminish the retrieval of an existing CTA. LiCl administration increased c-Fos expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei, area postrema, nucleus of the solitary tract and basolateral and central (CNA) nuclei of the amygdala. L-368,899 injected before LiCl reduced the number of c-Fos positive CNA neurons and brought it down to levels similar to those observed in mice treated only with L-368,899. We conclude that oxytocin is one of the key components in acquisition of LiCl-induced CTA and the aversive response can be alleviated by the oxytocin receptor blockade. Oxytocin receptor antagonism blunts responsiveness of CNA to peripherally injected LiCl.
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Functional coupling analysis suggests link between the obesity gene FTO and the BDNF-NTRK2 signaling pathway.
BMC Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 11-16-2011
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The Fat mass and obesity gene (FTO) has been identified through genome wide association studies as an important genetic factor contributing to a higher body mass index (BMI). However, the molecular context in which this effect is mediated has yet to be determined. We investigated the potential molecular network for FTO by analyzing co-expression and protein-protein interaction databases, Coxpresdb and IntAct, as well as the functional coupling predicting multi-source database, FunCoup. Hypothalamic expression of FTO-linked genes defined with this bioinformatics approach was subsequently studied using quantitative real time-PCR in mouse feeding models known to affect FTO expression.
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Comprehensive analysis of localization of 78 solute carrier genes throughout the subsections of the rat gastrointestinal tract.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 06-30-2011
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Solute carriers (SLCs), the second largest super-family of membrane proteins in the human genome, transport amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, inorganic ions, essential metals and drugs over membranes. To date no study has provided a comprehensive analysis of SLC localization along the entire GI tract. The aim of the present study was to provide a comprehensive, segment-specific description of the localization of SLC genes along the rat GI tract by employing bioinformatics and molecular biology methods. The Unigene database was screened for rat SLC entries in the intestinal tissue. Using qPCR we measured expression of the annotated genes in the GI tract divided into the following segments: the esophagus, the corpus and the antrum of the stomach, the proximal and distal parts of the duodenum, ileum, jejunum and colon, and the cecum. Our Unigene-derived gene pool was expanded with data from in-house tissue panels and a literature search. We found 44 out of 78 (56%) of gut SLC transcripts to be expressed in all GI tract segments, whereas the majority of remaining SLCs were detected in more than five segments. SLCs are predominantly expressed in gut regions with absorptive functions although expression was also found in segments unrelated to absorption. The proximal jejunum had the highest number of differentially expressed SLCs. In conclusion, SLCs are a crucial molecular component of the GI tract, with many of them expressed along the entire GI tract. This work presents the first overall road map of localization of transporter genes in the GI tract.
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Opioids as facilitators of feeding: can any food be rewarding?
Physiol. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2011
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Palatability is one of the most rewarding aspects of consummatory behavior. Opioids, potent facilitators of intake of sweet and fat tastants, are thought to mediate hedonics of feeding. However, the rewarding context of consumption is not limited to palatability, and gratification can be achieved through other means, e.g., eating to satisfy hunger. The current review discusses the role of opioid peptides in food intake regulation by incorporating this expanded concept of feeding reward. We present evidence that, aside from increasing sugar/fat consumption, opioids propel the intake of diets whose gustatory value is low but are nonetheless consumed under circumstances allowing feeding gratification to occur. Opioids enhance reward-driven consumption by acting within the classical reward circuitry and also by signaling reward at sites that regulate other aspects of food intake, such as satiety and aversion. We conclude that, due to the complexity of neural and functional interactions, opioids are capable of enhancing pleasure of eating any food--palatable, bland or even aversive--making any meal into a more rewarding experience, despite possible consequences.
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Fto colocalizes with a satiety mediator oxytocin in the brain and upregulates oxytocin gene expression.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 03-31-2011
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Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene have been associated with obesity in humans. Alterations in Fto expression in transgenic animals affect body weight, energy expenditure and food intake. Fto, a nuclear protein and proposed transcription co-factor, has been speculated to affect energy balance through a functional relationship with specific genes encoding feeding-related peptides. Herein, we employed double immunohistochemistry and showed that the majority of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin, coexpress Fto in the brain of male and female mice. We then overexpressed Fto in a murine hypothalamic cell line and, using qPCR, detected a 50% increase in the level of oxytocin mRNA. Expression levels of several other feeding-related genes, including neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti-related protein (AgRP), were unaffected by the FTO transfection. Addition of 10 and 100 nmol oxytocin to the cell culture medium did not affect Fto expression in hypothalamic cells. We conclude that Fto, a proposed transcription co-factor, influences expression of the gene encoding a satiety mediator, oxytocin.
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Expression levels of genes encoding melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) and MCH receptor change in taste aversion, but MCH injections do not alleviate aversive responses.
Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2011
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Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) stimulates feeding driven by energy needs and reward and modifies anxiety behavior. Orexigenic peptides of similar characteristics, including nociceptin/orphanin FQ, Agouti-related protein and opioids, increase consumption also by reducing avoidance of potentially tainted food in animals displaying a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). Herein, using real-time PCR, we assessed whether expression levels of genes encoding MCH and its receptor, MCHR1, were affected in CTA in the rat. We also investigated whether injecting MCH intracerebroventricularly (ICV) during the acquisition and retrieval of LiCl-induced CTA, would alleviate aversive responses. MCHR1 gene was upregulated in the hypothalamus and brain stem of aversive animals, MCH mRNA was significantly higher in the hypothalamus, whereas a strong trend suggesting upregulation of MCH and MCHR1 genes was detected in the amygdala. Despite these expression changes associated with aversion, MCH injected prior to the induction of CTA with LiCl as well as later, during the CTA retrieval upon subsequent presentations of the aversive tastant, did not reduce the magnitude of CTA. We conclude that MCH and its receptor form an orexigenic system whose expression is affected in CTA. This altered MCH expression may contribute to tastant-targeted hypophagia in CTA. However, changing the MCH tone in the brain by exogenous peptide was insufficient to prevent the onset or facilitate extinction of LiCl-induced CTA. This designates MCH as one of many accessory molecules associated with shaping an aversive response, but not a critical one for LiCl-dependent CTA to occur.
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Fto immunoreactivity is widespread in the rodent brain and abundant in feeding-related sites, but the number of Fto-positive cells is not affected by changes in energy balance.
Physiol. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2011
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A single nucleotide polymorphism in the FTO gene is associated with obesity in humans. Evidence gathered in animals mainly relates energy homeostasis to the central FTO mRNA levels, but our knowledge of the Fto protein distribution and regulation is limited. Fto, a demethylase and transcriptional coactivator, is thought to regulate expression of other genes. Herein, we examined Fto immunoreactivity (IR) in the mouse and rat brain with emphasis on sites governing energy balance. We also studied whether energy status affects central Fto IR. We report that Fto IR, limited to nuclear profiles, is widespread in the brain, in- and outside feeding circuits; it shows a very similar distribution in feeding-related sites in mice and rats. Several areas regulating energy homeostasis display enhanced intensity of Fto staining: the arcuate, paraventricular, supraoptic, dorsomedial, ventromedial nuclei, and dorsal vagal complex. Some regions mediating feeding reward, including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, have ample Fto IR. We found that differences in energy status between rats fed ad libitum, deprived or refed following deprivation, did not affect the number of Fto-positive nuclei in 10 sites governing consumption for energy or reward. We conclude that Fto IR, widespread in the rodent brain, is particularly abundant in feeding circuits, but the number of Fto-positive neurons is unaffected by changes in energy balance.
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Molecular, immunohistochemical, and pharmacological evidence of oxytocins role as inhibitor of carbohydrate but not fat intake.
Endocrinology
PUBLISHED: 08-04-2010
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Oxytocin (OT) facilitates feeding termination stemming from high osmolality, stomach distention, and malaise. Recent knockout (KO) studies suggested a crucial function for OT in carbohydrate intake: OT-/- mice had increased preference for carbohydrates, including sucrose, but not fat (Intralipid). In striking contrast, sugar appetite was unaffected in the OT receptor KO mouse; data from wild-type animals have been insufficient. Therefore, we examined the involvement of OT in the regulation of sucrose vs. fat intake in C57BL/6 mice that served as a background KO strain. We exposed mice to a meal of sucrose or Intralipid and determined that the percentage of c-Fos-immunoreactive paraventricular hypothalamic OT neurons was elevated at termination of intake of either of the tastants, but this increase was 2-fold higher in sucrose-fed mice. A 48-h exposure to sucrose compared with Intralipid caused up-regulation of OT mRNA, whereas inherent individual preferences for sucrose vs. fat were not associated with differences in baseline OT expression as established with quantitative PCR. We found that L-368,899, an OT receptor antagonist, increased sugar intake when sucrose was presented alone or concurrently with Intralipid; it had no effect on Intralipid or total calorie consumption. L-368,899 affected Fos immunoreactivity in the paraventricular hypothalamus, arcuate nucleus, amygdala, and nucleus of the solitary tract, areas involved in aversion, satiety, and reward. This pattern serves as neuroanatomical basis of OTs complex role in food intake, including sucrose intake. The current findings expand our knowledge on OT and suggest that it acts as a carbohydrate-specific inhibitor of feeding.
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Central nociceptin/orphanin FQ system elevates food consumption by both increasing energy intake and reducing aversive responsiveness.
Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 04-28-2010
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Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), the nociceptin opioid peptide (NOP) receptor ligand, increases feeding when injected centrally. Initial data suggest that N/OFQ blocks the development of a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). The current project further characterized the involvement of N/OFQ in the regulation of hunger vs. aversive responses in rats by employing behavioral, immunohistochemical, and real-time PCR methodology. We determined that the same low dose of the NOP antagonist [Nphe(1)]N/OFQ(1-13)NH(2) delivered via the lateral ventricle diminishes both N/OFQ- and deprivation-induced feeding. This anorexigenic effect did not stem from aversive consequences, as the antagonist did not cause the development of a CTA. When [Nphe(1)]N/OFQ(1-13)NH(2) was administered with LiCl, it moderately delayed extinction of the LiCl-induced CTA. Injection of LiCl + antagonist compared with LiCl alone generated an increase in c-Fos immunoreactivity in the central nucleus of the amygdala. The antagonist alone elevated Fos immunoreactivity in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, nucleus of the solitary tract, and central nucleus of the amygdala. Hypothalamic NOP mRNA levels were decreased during energy intake restriction induced by aversion, as well as in non-CTA rats food-restricted to match CTA-reduced consumption. Brain stem NOP was upregulated only in aversion. Prepro-N/OFQ mRNA showed a trend toward upregulation in restricted rats (P = 0.068). We conclude that the N/OFQ system promotes feeding by affecting the need to replenish lacking calories and by reducing aversive responsiveness. It may belong to mechanisms that shift a balance between the drive to ingest energy and avoidance of potentially tainted food.
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The obesity gene, TMEM18, is of ancient origin, found in majority of neuronal cells in all major brain regions and associated with obesity in severely obese children.
BMC Med. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2010
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TMEM18 is a hypothalamic gene that has recently been linked to obesity and BMI in genome wide association studies. However, the functional properties of TMEM18 are obscure.
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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus increases energy expenditure.
Brain Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2010
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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) decreases food intake and body weight, but few central sites of action have been identified for its effect on energy expenditure. The hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMH) is important in regulating energy metabolism. Our previous work indicated that BDNF in the VMH reduced food intake. The purposes of the study were to determine: 1) if BDNF in the VMH increases energy expenditure (EE); 2) if BDNF-enhanced thermogenesis results from increased spontaneous physical activity (SPA) and resting metabolic rate (RMR); and 3) if VMH BDNF thermogenic effects are mediated by uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) in brown adipose tissue (BAT). BDNF (0.5 microg) was injected into the VMH of male Sprague-Dawley rats and oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, food intake and SPA were measured for 24h in an indirect calorimeter. Animals were sacrificed 4h after BDNF injection, and BAT UCP1 gene expression was measured with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. BDNF significantly decreased food and water intake, and body weight gain. Heat production and RMR were significantly elevated for 9h immediately after BDNF injection. BDNF increased SPA and EE during SPA (aEE) within 9h after injection although BDNF had no effect on 0-24h SPA and aEE. BDNF did not induce a significant increase in BAT UCP1 expression. In conclusion, VMH BDNF reduces body weight by decreasing food intake and increasing EE consequent to increased SPA and RMR, suggesting that the VMH is an important site of BDNF action to influence energy balance.
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Chronic sugar intake dampens feeding-related activity of neurons synthesizing a satiety mediator, oxytocin.
Peptides
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2010
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Increased tone of orexigens mediating reward occurs upon repeated consumption of sweet foods. Interestingly, some of these reward orexigens, such as opioids, diminish activity of neurons synthesizing oxytocin, a nonapeptide that promotes satiety and feeding termination. It is not known, however, whether consumption-related activity of the central oxytocin system is modified under chronic sugar feeding reward itself. Therefore, we examined how chronic consumption of a rewarding high-sucrose (HS) vs. bland cornstarch (CS) diet affected the activity of oxytocin cells in the hypothalamus at the time of meal termination. Schedule-fed (2h/day) rats received either a HS or CS powdered diet for 20 days. On the 21st day, they were given the same or the opposite diet, and food was removed after the main consummatory activity was completed. Animals were perfused 60 min after feeding termination and brains were immunostained for oxytocin and the marker of neuronal activity, c-Fos. The percentage of c-Fos-positive oxytocin cells in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus was significantly lower in rats chronically exposed to the HS than to the CS diet, regardless of which diet they received on the final day. A similar pattern was observed in the supraoptic nucleus. We conclude that the chronic rather than acute sucrose intake reduces activity of the anorexigenic oxytocin system. These findings indicate that chronic consumption of sugar blunts activity of pathways that mediate satiety. We speculate that a reduction in central satiety signaling precipitated by regular intake of foods high in sugar may lead to generalized overeating.
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Oxytocin as feeding inhibitor: maintaining homeostasis in consummatory behavior.
Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2010
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Initial studies showed that the anorexigenic peptide oxytocin (OT) regulates gastric motility, responds to stomach distention and to elevated osmolality, and blocks consumption of toxic foods. Most recently, it has been proposed to act as a mediator of general and carbohydrate-specific satiety and regulator of body weight. In the current review, we discuss the function of OT as a homeostatic inhibitor of consumption, capable of mitigating multiple aspects of ingestive behavior and energy metabolism.
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Operant responding for sucrose by rats bred for high or low saccharin consumption.
Physiol. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2010
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The use of rats differing in the intake of sweet substances has highlighted some interesting parallels between taste preferences and drug self-administration. For example, rats selectively bred to consume high (HiS) or low (LoS) amounts of a 0.1% saccharin solution (when compared to water consumption), show corresponding differences across several measures of cocaine self-administration (HiS>LoS). In this study, we measured whether the two strains also differ when response requirements are imposed for obtaining a sucrose reinforcer. Male HiS and LoS rats were measured for operant responding for sucrose pellets under fixed-ratio (FR) schedules of 1, 3, 5 and 10 and under a progressive-ratio (PR) schedule, during which the response requirement for each successive pellet increased exponentially. The effect of systemic naltrexone (0.3, 1 and 3mg/kg) on PR responding for sucrose pellets was also tested. Under all FR and PR schedules, the number of pellets obtained by the LoS rats were significantly lower than those obtained by the HiS rats. Although the LoS weighed more than the HiS rats, this difference does not appear to explain differences in operant behavior. No strain differences in the effect of naltrexone were observed; the 3mg/kg dose reduced the number of pellets obtained in both strains. Measures of locomotor activity taken prior to operant trials suggest that the differences in responding were not due to differences in general activity levels. These studies provide further characterization of the HiS and LoS rat lines by demonstrating that motivation to consume sucrose is greater in HiS than in LoS rats.
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Glutamate, aspartate and nucleotide transporters in the SLC17 family form four main phylogenetic clusters: evolution and tissue expression.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2010
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The SLC17 family of transporters transports the amino acids: glutamate and aspartate, and, as shown recently, also nucleotides. Vesicular glutamate transporters are found in distinct species, such as C. elegans, but the evolutionary origin of most of the genes in this family has been obscure.
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Effects of sibutramine and rimonabant in rats trained to discriminate between 22- and 2-h food deprivation.
Psychopharmacology (Berl.)
PUBLISHED: 10-06-2009
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The objective of the study was to evaluate whether sibutramine and rimonabant, drugs that decrease food intake in human and non-human animals, affect the discriminative stimulus effects associated with acute food deprivation ("hunger").
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Hypothalamic FTO is associated with the regulation of energy intake not feeding reward.
BMC Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 09-23-2009
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Polymorphism in the FTO gene is strongly associated with obesity, but little is known about the molecular bases of this relationship. We investigated whether hypothalamic FTO is involved in energy-dependent overconsumption of food. We determined FTO mRNA levels in rodent models of short- and long-term intake of palatable fat or sugar, deprivation, diet-induced increase in body weight, baseline preference for fat versus sugar as well as in same-weight animals differing in the inherent propensity to eat calories especially upon availability of diverse diets, using quantitative PCR. FTO gene expression was also studied in organotypic hypothalamic cultures treated with anorexigenic amino acid, leucine. In situ hybridization (ISH) was utilized to study FTO signal in reward- and hunger-related sites, colocalization with anorexigenic oxytocin, and c-Fos immunoreactivity in FTO cells at initiation and termination of a meal.
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Military experience strongly influences post-service eating behavior and BMI status in American veterans.
Appetite
PUBLISHED: 07-30-2009
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In-depth interviews were conducted with veterans (n=64) with an average age of 57 years to investigate eating behavior and food insecurity during military service and examine if it affects post-war eating behavior, and if this contributes to the high incidence of obesity found in veterans. About half of the subjects served during the Vietnam War, while smaller numbers served in WWII, the Korean War, Desert Storm, or other conflicts. The mean BMI was 30.5+/-6.7 kg/m(2). Only 12.5% of participants were classified as normal weight, while 37.5% were overweight, 46.9% were obese, and 3.1% were classified as excessively obese. Five major themes were identified including, (a) military service impacts soldiers food environment, (b) food insecurity influences eating behavior and food choices, (c) military impacts weight status during and post-service, (d) military service has health consequences, and (e) post-service re-adjustment solutions are needed to ease re-entry into civilian life.
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Molecular mechanisms underlying anorexia nervosa: focus on human gene association studies and systems controlling food intake.
Brain Res Rev
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2009
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Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex multi-factorial disease with high heritability. The psychological AN symptoms are poorly connected with specific molecular mechanisms. Here we review the molecular basis of AN with the focus on human genetic association studies; we put these in the experimental biological context with emphasis on molecular systems controlling food intake and body weight in a direct or indirect manner. We systematically searched for human genetic studies related to AN and grouped data into main categories/systems reflecting their major known roles: (1) Systems related to mental disorders (serotonin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), norepinephrine (NE), glutamate (NMDA) receptor and SK3 channel, KCCN3). (2) Hunger regulatory systems (leptin, AGRP, MSH, melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), NPY, ghrelin, cholecystokinin (CCK). (3) Feeding motivation- and reward-related systems (opioids, OPRD1, cannabinoids (anandamide (AEA), THC, CBR1), dopamine, DRD2, DRD3, DRD4, catecholamine-O-methyl transferase (COMT). (4) Systems regulating energy metabolism (uncoupling proteins 2 and 3 (UCP2 and UCP3). (5) Neuroendocrine systems with emphasis on sex hormones (estrogen receptor-beta (ESR2). (6) The immune system and inflammatory response (tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)). Overall, we found that in total 175 association studies have been performed on AN cohorts on 128 different polymorphisms related to 43 genes. We review the strongest associations, identify some genes that have an important role in regulating BMI whose possible relationship to AN has not been investigated and discuss the potential targets for pharmacological interventions.
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Complexity of neural mechanisms underlying overconsumption of sugar in scheduled feeding: involvement of opioids, orexin, oxytocin and NPY.
Peptides
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2009
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A regular daily meal regimen, as opposed to ad libitum consumption, enforces eating at a predefined time and within a short timeframe. Hence, it is important to study food intake regulation in animal feeding models that somewhat reflect this pattern. We investigated the effect of scheduled feeding on the intake of a palatable, high-sugar diet in rats and attempted to define central mechanisms - especially those related to opioid signaling--responsible for overeating sweet foods under such conditions. We found that scheduled access to food, even as challenging as 20 min per day, does not prevent overconsumption of a high-sucrose diet compared to a standard one. An opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone, at 0.3-1 mg/kg b. wt., decreased the intake of the sweet diet, whereas higher doses were required to reduce bland food consumption. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that expression of hypothalamic and brainstem genes encoding opioid peptides and receptors did not differ in sucrose versus regular diet-fed rats, which suggests that scheduled intake of sweet food produces only a transient change in the opioid tone. Intake of sugar was also associated with upregulation of orexin and oxytocin genes in the hypothalamus and NPY in the brainstem. We conclude that scheduled consumption of sugar diets is associated with activity of a complex network of neuroregulators involving opioids, orexin, oxytocin and NPY.
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Amygdalar opioids modulate hypothalamic melanocortin-induced anorexia.
Physiol. Behav.
PUBLISHED: 01-13-2009
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We wanted to assess the possibility that opioid activity in the central amygdala (CeA) could modulate the feeding inhibition of melanocortin stimulation of the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVN). The melanocortin system is important in both the acute regulation of satiety and feeding behavior and in the integration of long-term appetite signals. Melanotan II (MTII) is a synthetic MC3R and MC4R agonist which reduces food intake when given intracerebroventricularly (ICV) and into the PVN. Tyr-D-Ala-Gly-(me) Phe-Gly-ol (DAMGO), a micro-opioid receptor agonist, increases food intake, while opioid antagonists, like naltrexone (NTX), inhibit food intake after injection into many brain sites involved in appetite regulation, including the CeA. In food-deprived male Sprague-Dawley rats, co-injected intra-PVN MTII partially blocked the orexigenic effect of co-injected intra-CeA DAMGO. Intra-CeA NTX co-injected with intra-PVN MTII reduced food intake significantly more than either alone. NTX administered intra-CeA reduced c-Fos-immunoreactivity (IR) in nucleus accumbens neurons significantly compared to the intra-PVN MTII treated animals, animals co-injected intra-PVN with MTII and intra-CeA with NTX animals, and control animals. Intra-PVN MTII induced c-Fos-IR in significantly more PVN neurons than observed in control animals. Intra-CeA NTX co-injected with intra-PVN MTII induced c-Fos-IR significantly in PVN neurons relative to control and intra-CeA NTX animals. Such data support the significance of opioid action within the CeA as a modulator of the feeding regulation action of melanocortins within the PVN, occurring within the context of a larger appetitive network.
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The contribution of brain reward circuits to the obesity epidemic.
Neurosci Biobehav Rev
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One of the defining characteristics of the research of Ann E. Kelley was her recognition that the neuroscience underlying basic learning and motivation processes also shed significant light upon mechanisms underlying drug addiction and maladaptive eating patterns. In this review, we examine the parallels that exist in the neural pathways that process both food and drug reward, as determined by recent studies in animal models and human neuroimaging experiments. We discuss contemporary research that suggests that hyperphagia leading to obesity is associated with substantial neurochemical changes in the brain. These findings verify the relevance of reward pathways for promoting consumption of palatable, calorically dense foods, and lead to the important question of whether changes in reward circuitry in response to intake of such foods serve a causal role in the development and maintenance of some cases of obesity. Finally, we discuss the potential value for future studies at the intersection of the obesity epidemic and the neuroscience of motivation, as well as the potential concerns that arise from viewing excessive food intake as an "addiction". We suggest that it might be more useful to focus on overeating that results in frank obesity, and multiple health, interpersonal, and occupational negative consequences as a form of food "abuse".
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Neurobeachin, a regulator of synaptic protein targeting, is associated with body fat mass and feeding behavior in mice and body-mass index in humans.
PLoS Genet.
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Neurobeachin (Nbea) regulates neuronal membrane protein trafficking and is required for the development and functioning of central and neuromuscular synapses. In homozygous knockout (KO) mice, Nbea deficiency causes perinatal death. Here, we report that heterozygous KO mice haploinsufficient for Nbea have higher body weight due to increased adipose tissue mass. In several feeding paradigms, heterozygous KO mice consumed more food than wild-type (WT) controls, and this consumption was primarily driven by calories rather than palatability. Expression analysis of feeding-related genes in the hypothalamus and brainstem with real-time PCR showed differential expression of a subset of neuropeptide or neuropeptide receptor mRNAs between WT and Nbea+/- mice in the sated state and in response to food deprivation, but not to feeding reward. In humans, we identified two intronic NBEA single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are significantly associated with body-mass index (BMI) in adult and juvenile cohorts. Overall, data obtained in mice and humans suggest that variation of Nbea abundance or activity critically affects body weight, presumably by influencing the activity of feeding-related neural circuits. Our study emphasizes the importance of neural mechanisms in body weight control and points out NBEA as a potential risk gene in human obesity.
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Feed-forward mechanisms: addiction-like behavioral and molecular adaptations in overeating.
Front Neuroendocrinol
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Food reward, not hunger, is the main driving force behind eating in the modern obesogenic environment. Palatable foods, generally calorie-dense and rich in sugar/fat, are thus readily overconsumed despite the resulting health consequences. Important advances have been made to explain mechanisms underlying excessive consumption as an immediate response to presentation of rewarding tastants. However, our understanding of long-term neural adaptations to food reward that oftentimes persist during even a prolonged absence of palatable food and contribute to the reinstatement of compulsive overeating of high-fat high-sugar diets, is much more limited. Here we discuss the evidence from animal and human studies for neural and molecular adaptations in both homeostatic and non-homeostatic appetite regulation that may underlie the formation of a "feed-forward" system, sensitive to palatable food and propelling the individual from a basic preference for palatable diets to food craving and compulsive, addiction-like eating behavior.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.