About this Research Topic
It is well established that nutrients act as signaling molecules in synergy with nervous and hormonal signals to inform the brain about the nutritional status of the body. The integration of these signals within the hypothalamus and other brain regions triggers behavioral and physiological responses through efferent autonomic nerves, hypothalamic-pituitary-Adrenal and thyroid axis in order to maintain energy homeostasis. In particular, the roles of glucose, fatty acid and amino acid sensing in the control of food intake and peripheral glucose metabolism have been extensively studied. Cellular and molecular mechanisms by which circulating nutrients act on the brain have become a highly competitive field with outcomes leading to several strategies to prevent or treat obesity and its co-morbidities.
In the past decade the field of brain nutrient-sensing has seen a profound evolution with, for instance, the predominant role for an interplay between homeostatic and non-homeostatic control of food intake and energy balance. The latter takes place in the mesolimbic system and recapitulates the rewarding and motivational aspects of feeding. In addition, other brain regions known for their role in memory (hippocampus), olfaction (olfactory bulbs) and circadian clock (suprachiasmatic nucleus) have emerged as nutrient sensitive areas contributing to feeding behavior and energy homeostasis. Finally, growing evidence suggests that the interplay between glial cells and neurons is fundamental in nutrient sensing.
In parallel to these new developments, several novel methodologies have emerged to dissect the neurocircuitries regulating feeding behavior and energy homeostasis, including optogenetics, DREAD, cell specific deletion... Together, these approaches will help to better understand the interplay between brain regions and circuits involved in nutrient sensing.
This Frontiers Research Topic aims to focus on new insights and perspectives in brain nutrient sensing (both in physiological and pathophysiological conditions) with a special attention to the multi-scale deciphering of cell inner mechanisms. In this regard contributors are encouraged to submit reviews, mini-reviews, commentaries, perspective articles, original research articles and method articles.
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