Lateral parabrachial nucleus astrocytes control food intake

Devesh Mishra, Jennifer E. Richard, Ivana Maric, Olesya T. Shevchouk, Stina Börchers, Kim Eerola, Jean Philippe Krieger, Karolina P. Skibicka

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Food intake behavior is under the tight control of the central nervous system. Most studies to date focus on the contribution of neurons to this behavior. However, although previously overlooked, astrocytes have recently been implicated to play a key role in feeding control. Most of the recent literature has focused on astrocytic contribution in the hypothalamus or the dorsal vagal complex. The contribution of astrocytes located in the lateral parabrachial nucleus (lPBN) to feeding behavior control remains poorly understood. Thus, here, we first investigated whether activation of lPBN astrocytes affects feeding behavior in male and female rats using chemogenetic activation. Astrocytic activation in the lPBN led to profound anorexia in both sexes, under both ad-libitum feeding schedule and after a fasting challenge. Astrocytes have a key contribution to glutamate homeostasis and can themselves release glutamate. Moreover, lPBN glutamate signaling is a key contributor to potent anorexia, which can be induced by lPBN activation. Thus, here, we determined whether glutamate signaling is necessary for lPBN astrocyte activation-induced anorexia, and found that pharmacological N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor blockade attenuated the food intake reduction resulting from lPBN astrocyte activation. Since astrocytes have been shown to contribute to feeding control by modulating the feeding effect of peripheral feeding signals, we further investigated whether lPBN astrocyte activation is capable of modulating the anorexic effect of the gut/brain hormone, glucagon like peptide -1, as well as the orexigenic effect of the stomach hormone - ghrelin, and found that the feeding effect of both signals is modulated by lPBN astrocytic activation. Lastly, we found that lPBN astrocyte activation-induced anorexia is affected by a diet-induced obesity challenge, in a sex-divergent manner. Collectively, current findings uncover a novel role for lPBN astrocytes in feeding behavior control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1389589
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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