5-HT recruits distinct neurocircuits to inhibit hunger-driven and non-hunger-driven feeding

Yanlin He, Xing Cai, Hailan Liu, Krisitine M. Conde, Pingwen Xu, Yongxiang Li, Chunmei Wang, Meng Yu, Yang He, Hesong Liu, Chen Liang, Tingting Yang, Yongjie Yang, Kaifan Yu, Julia Wang, Rong Zheng, Feng Liu, Zheng Sun, Lora Heisler, Qi WuQingchun Tong, Canjun Zhu, Gang Shu* (Corresponding Author), Yong Xu* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Obesity is primarily a consequence of consuming calories beyond energetic requirements, but underpinning drivers have not been fully defined. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neurons in the dorsal Raphe nucleus (5-HTDRN) regulate different types of feeding behavior, such as eating to cope with hunger or for pleasure. Here, we observed that activation of 5-HTDRN to hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (5-HTDRN -> ARH) projections inhibits food intake driven by hunger via actions at ARH 5-HT2C and 5-HT1B receptors, whereas activation of 5-HTDRN to ventral tegmental area (5-HTDRN -> VTA) projections inhibits non-hunger-driven feeding via actions at 5-HT2C receptors. Further, hunger-driven feeding gradually activates ARH-projecting 5-HTDRN neurons via inhibiting their responsiveness to inhibitory GABAergic inputs; non-hunger-driven feeding activates VTA-projecting 5-HTDRN neurons through reducing a potassium outward current. Thus, our results support a model whereby parallel circuits modulate feeding behavior either in response to hunger or to hunger-independent cues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7211–7224
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number12
Early online date21 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The investigators were supported by grants from the NIH (R01DK114279, R01DK109934, and R21NS108091 to QT; R01ES027544 and R01DK111436 to ZS; R00DK107008 to PX; R01DK109194 and R56DK109194 to QW; P01DK113954, R01DK115761, R01DK117281, and R01DK125480 to YX; R01DK120858 to QT and YX; K01DK119471 to CW; and P20GM135002 to YH), USDA/CRIS (51000-064-01 S to YX and QW), American Diabetes Association (1-17-PDF-138 to YH, 7-13-JF-61 to QW, and 1-15-BS-184 to QT), American Heart Association awards (16POST27260254 to CW), the Pew Charitable Trust awards to QW (0026188), Baylor Collaborative Faculty Research Investment Program grants to QW, the Faculty Start-up grants from USDA/ ARS to QW, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/ K001418/1 and BB/NO17838/1 to LKH), and the Medical Research Council (MC/PC/ 15077 to LKH). QW is the Pew Scholar of Biomedical Sciences and the Kavli Scholar. The anxiety tests (e.g., open-field test, light–dark test, and elevated plus maze test) were performed in the Mouse Neurobehavior Core, Baylor College of Medicine, which was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant No. P30HD024064. The Ad-iN/ WED virus was kindly provided by Dr. Martin Myers (University of Michigan). The AAV9-CBA-DIO-WGA-zsGreen virus was kindly provided by Dr. Richard Palmiter (University of Washington).




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