Scientists Catalogue “Parts List” of Brain Cell Types in a Major Appetite Center

Using Harvard-developed technology, scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have catalogued more than 20,000 brain cells in one region of the mouse hypothalamus. The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, revealed some 50 distinct cell types, including a previously undescribed neuron type that may underlie some of the genetic risk of human obesity. This catalog of cell types marks the first time neuroscientists have established a comprehensive “parts list” for this area of the brain. The new information will allow researchers to establish which cells play what role in this region of the brain.

“A lot of functions have already been mapped to large regions of the brain; for example, we know that the hippocampus is important for memory, and we know the hypothalamus is responsible for basic functions like eating and drinking,” said lead author John N. Campbell, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of co-corresponding author, Bradford Lowell, MD, PhD. “But we don’t know what cell types within those regions are responsible. Now with the leaps we’ve had in technology, we can profile every gene in tens of thousands of individual cells simultaneously and start to test those cell types one by one to figure out their functional roles.”

Each cell in an animal’s body carries the same genetic information. Cells take on specific roles by expressing some genes and silencing others. Drop-Seq technology – developed by study co-authors Steven McCarroll, PhD, and Evan Macosko, MD, PhD, both geneticists at Harvard Medical School – makes it possible to assess every gene expressed by individual cells. The automated process means the BIDMC researchers could profile tens of thousands of cells in the same amount of time it once took to profile about a dozen cells by hand.

Campbell and colleagues profiled more than 20,000 adult mouse brain cells in the arcuate hypothalamus (Arc) and the adjoining median eminence (ME) – a region of the brain that controls appetite and other vital functions. The cells’ gene expression profiles help scientists determine their functions.

In addition to identifying 50 new cell types, the researchers also profiled the cell types in adult mice under different feeding conditions: eating at will; high-fat diet (energy surplus); and overnight fasting (energy deficit). The technology allowed the researchers to assess how changes in energy status affected gene expression. The cell types and genes that were sensitive to these changes in energy status provide a number of new targets for obesity treatment.

“Sometimes a cell’s true identity doesn’t come out until you put it through a certain stress,” said co-corresponding author, Linus Tsai, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at BIDMC. “In fasting conditions, for example, we can see whether there is further diversity within the cell types based on how they respond to important physiologic states.”

Finally, the scientists analyzed previous human genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that revealed gene variants linked to obesity. Noting which brain cell types express such obesity-related genes, the researchers implicated two novel neuron types in the genetic control of body weight.

Campbell and colleagues have posted their massive data set online, making it available to researchers around the world. The open-source information should accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and shape the research questions asked in the field of obesity research.

“The classic way of doing science is to ask questions and test hypotheses,” said Lowell, who is a professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. “But the brain is so complex, we don’t even know how much we don’t know. This information fills in some of the unknowns so we can make new hypotheses. This work will lead to many discoveries that, without these data, people would never have even known to ask the question.”

Quick fact. Ready?
Exercise suppresses appetite immediately afterward, however increases it later on in the day.
Oh exercise, you truly are amazing.


by Maxine Kumin

I eat these
wild red raspberries
still warm from the sun
and smelling faintly of jewelweed
in memory of my father

tucking the napkin
under his chin and bending
over an ironstone bowl
of the bright drupelets
awash in cream

my father
with the sigh of a man
who has seen all and been redeemed
said time after time
as he lifted his spoon

men kill for this.

Quick fact. Ready?
Including Apple Cider Vinegar into a high carb meal has been shown to reduce the total amount of calories that one needs to consume prior to feeling satisfied. Thus, this amazing fermented sugar helps to regulate one’s appetite and keep one satisfied.

anonymous asked:

Hey sea fam, is it normal for someone to completely loose their appetite during their period? I know it's pretty normal for people to eat more and be incredibly hungry but I personally have to force myself to eat during it otherwise I won't eat for a week

Yeah, completely normal. I suggest meal bars. Like, Nature Valley has these XL Bars that are huge and delicious. And totally count as a meal. Or you could get those dole fruit shaker things and some v8, also a meal.

Also you’re gonna wanna take vitamins that have iron in them. Take them with your granola bar. You do not wanna have a vitamin deficiency during your period.

-Lou the Lobster

anonymous asked:

Will Appetit and Glimmer be translated in English? These are my favorite lezhin webcomics which haven't been translated yet. I paid coins to look at the illustrations but I don't know the exact story because I can't read Korean, so I try to guess the plot just from the illustrations. These two webcomics really deserve to be translated.

Sorry the late reply! If you haven’t heard, Appetite was released on Lezhin’s English service site (FANGIRLING) ! There are currently 8 episodes available with episodes 1-4 unlocked. Here is the official synopsis:

Dohoon can’t find a reason to live. He hoped to get a fresh start at his new high school, but things are no different—the bullies make fun of his limp and no one wants to be his friend. Then one night, he runs into a classmate, Aji… Having seen something he shouldn’t, the two make a deal: Aji will protect him for the time being, but when he turns 20, Dohoon will have to pay up.

We will keep Glimmer in mind! 

anonymous asked:

Hi, so I'm on Adderall and it absolutely destroys my appetite. I'm also on vacation in the desert atm and have been drinking like a gallon of water a day which certainly doesn't help my appetite but I can't really stop because health. I've tried cutting back to half my usual dosage but I feel nauseous without even eating so I've just been snacking throughout the day instead of full meals for the most part. I know I need to eat but my mom had been on my back about not eating enough. Any advice?

Snacking is a great option. Maybe your mom doesn’t realize how much you’re actually eating? Maybe you can snack on your meals. Like breakfast, eat some of it at breakfast and then just eat a bit here and there all morning, with a goal of having it all gone by lunch time. At lunch, eat something with everyone else and then snack on the rest all afternoon. And so on. That will probably appease your mom and you’ll be snacking on healthy things for the most part too.


Quick fact. Ready?
Having 20-40 grams of protein, depending on your body size, gender, and activity level, in the morning may help to better satisfy cravings and appetite later on in the day. However, make sure it’s from a good quality source!