The discomforting feeling of hunger evolved to motivate searching for food and is therefore critical for survival. However, for modern-day humans living in environments where food is continuously available excessive hunger can result in obesity. In this episode Yale University professor Tamas Horvath talks about ‘hunger neurons’ in the hypothalamus and how they are regulated by glucose, fatty acids, and signals coming from the gut. He also discusses interesting roles for mitochondria in the hunger neurons in their sensing of metabolic states. His research is also providing important insight into alterations in neural circuits that occur in anorexia nervosa.
Professor Horvath’s Lab page: https://medicine.yale.edu/lab/horvath/
Anorexia mouse model: