Presentation Title

Activation of nucleus accumbens-projecting melanin-concentrating hormone neurons promotes palatable food intake

Faculty Mentor

Scott Kanoski

Start Date

23-11-2019 12:45 PM

End Date

23-11-2019 1:00 PM

Location

Markstein 211

Session

oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide produced primarily in neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) of the brain that increases feeding. MCH-producing neurons project to multiple brain regions and MCH receptors (MCH1Rs) are widely distributed throughout the neuraxis. The mechanisms and sites of action through which MCH influences feeding are largely uncharacterized. Here we investigate the MCH neuronal projection to the nucleus accumbens shell (ACBsh), a brain region strongly associated with the control of learned aspects of food reward. Our results reveal that MCH neurons robustly innervate the ACBsh and that chemogenetic activation ACBsh-projecting MCH neurons increases intake of palatable food in rats. Immunochemistry data reveal the presence of MCH axon terminals in the ACB, while fluorescent in situ hybridization demonstrates ACB MCH1R-expressing neurons that co-express the dopamine receptor D2R. Autoradiography analysis after activation of ACB-projecting MCH neurons via Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDS) reveals significantly decreased blood flow to both anterior and posterior ACB when compared to control vehicle group. In male rats, activation of the ACB-projecting MCH neurons using a dual viral vector approach increased palatable food intake but had no effect on bland rodent chow. Furthermore, these effects were sex specific, as activation of ACB-projecting MCH neurons had no effect on intake of either food type in female rats. Overall, our findings elucidate the sex-dependent behavioral actions of a specific projection pathway of MCH neurons on palatable feeding behavior.

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Nov 23rd, 12:45 PM Nov 23rd, 1:00 PM

Activation of nucleus accumbens-projecting melanin-concentrating hormone neurons promotes palatable food intake

Markstein 211

Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide produced primarily in neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) of the brain that increases feeding. MCH-producing neurons project to multiple brain regions and MCH receptors (MCH1Rs) are widely distributed throughout the neuraxis. The mechanisms and sites of action through which MCH influences feeding are largely uncharacterized. Here we investigate the MCH neuronal projection to the nucleus accumbens shell (ACBsh), a brain region strongly associated with the control of learned aspects of food reward. Our results reveal that MCH neurons robustly innervate the ACBsh and that chemogenetic activation ACBsh-projecting MCH neurons increases intake of palatable food in rats. Immunochemistry data reveal the presence of MCH axon terminals in the ACB, while fluorescent in situ hybridization demonstrates ACB MCH1R-expressing neurons that co-express the dopamine receptor D2R. Autoradiography analysis after activation of ACB-projecting MCH neurons via Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDS) reveals significantly decreased blood flow to both anterior and posterior ACB when compared to control vehicle group. In male rats, activation of the ACB-projecting MCH neurons using a dual viral vector approach increased palatable food intake but had no effect on bland rodent chow. Furthermore, these effects were sex specific, as activation of ACB-projecting MCH neurons had no effect on intake of either food type in female rats. Overall, our findings elucidate the sex-dependent behavioral actions of a specific projection pathway of MCH neurons on palatable feeding behavior.