Obesity researchers have for long been searching for the switch in the brain that turns on and off the drive to eat. Now the researchers are trying to identify the brain cells that dispatch the signal of “stop eating” from the brain to the gut.
According to the findings, the sensation of fullness is a result of the activation of a class of neurons and the deactivation of another set of neurons.
The introduction of tiny molecular lights called optogenetics in mice showed that when the satiety cells are activated, the effect was calm but the eating was less. This helped the researchers learn about the cells’ roles in a given process.
On that question, at least, the news was good. When scientists “turned the lights on” and activated a unique cluster of cells in the amygdala central nucleus associated with satiety, the effect was not increased anxiety, but calm: In lab tests, mice whose satiety neurons were activated by molecular light were no more likely to show signs of fear than were control mice: they just ate less. A lot less.
The researchers were able to glean which neurons process satiety signals by genetically engineering light-sensitivity into certain cells. Then they were able to learn about those cells’ roles in a ……………. read more in the LATimes about how to induce weightloss: http://www.latimes.com/science