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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Linking Foods, Behavior and Metabolism to Promote a Healthy Body Weight

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research Unit

Title: Relationships among metabolic homeostasis, diet, and peripheral afferent neuron biology

Authors
item Dunn, Tamara -
item ADAMS, SEAN

Submitted to: Advances in Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: May 17, 2014
Publication Date: July 12, 2014
Citation: Dunn, T.N., Adams, S.H. 2014. Relationships among metabolic homeostasis, diet, and peripheral afferent neuron biology. Advances in Nutrition. 5:386-393. DOI: 10.3945/an.113.005439.

Interpretive Summary: It is well-established that food intake behavior and energy balance are regulated by cross-talk between peripheral organ systems and the brain, for instance through the actions of appetite hormones and the brain. Diet- or obesity-associated disturbances in metabolic and hormonal signals to the brain can perturb metabolic health. While interrelationships between metabolic status and diet with brain biology are well-characterized, afferent networks (nerves that send information to the brain from the peripheral tissues) have received far less attention. It is increasingly appreciated that afferent neurons in fat tissue, the intestines, liver and other tissues are important regulators of energy balance and feeding behavior. Disruption in their signaling may have consequences for pancreatic, fat tissue, and immune function. This review discusses the diverse ways that afferent neurons participate in metabolic homeostasis, and will highlight how changes in their function may associate with dysmetabolic states such as obesity and insulin resistance.

Technical Abstract: It is well-established that food intake behavior and energy balance are regulated by cross-talk between peripheral organ systems and the central nervous system (CNS), for instance through the actions of peripherally-derived leptin on hindbrain and hypothalamic loci. Diet- or obesity-associated disturbances in metabolic and hormonal signals to the CNS can perturb metabolic homeostasis body-wide. While interrelationships between metabolic status and diet with CNS biology are well-characterized, afferent networks (those sending information to the CNS from the periphery) have received far less attention. It is increasingly appreciated that afferent neurons in adipose tissue, the intestines, liver and other tissues are important regulators of energy balance and feeding behavior. Disruption in their signaling may have consequences for pancreatic, adipose, and immune function. This review will discuss the diverse ways that afferent neurons participate in metabolic homeostasis, and will highlight how changes in their function may associate with dysmetabolic states such as obesity and insulin resistance.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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