The central nervous system (CNS) combines information from afferent neurons, circulating hormones, and ingested nutrients to regulate the actions of the neuroendocrine and autonomic nervous systems to maintain systemic metabolic homeostasis. The arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC), in particular, is critical for primary sensing of adiposity signals like leptin and insulin, as well as circulating nutrients like glucose. Importantly, the ARC’s energy state–sensing neurons govern various physiological activities, including glucose homeostasis, blood pressure, and innate immune responses.
The discoveries established them as master regulators, capable of adapting integrative physiology to the organism’s energy condition. When the fine-tuned control is disrupted, there is an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure and dysregulation of peripheral metabolism. Improving our understanding of the cellular, molecular, and functional basis of this regulating principle in the CNS might pave the way for developing innovative therapeutic treatments for obesity and metabolic syndrome.
For a study, researchers sought to discuss new findings with a focus on ARC neurocircuitries that regulate food intake and glucose homeostasis, as well as sensory variables that educate the brain about the organism’s energy state.