Appetite suppressive role of medial septal glutamatergic neurons

Patrick Sweeney, Changhong Li, Yunlei Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Feeding behavior is controlled by diverse neurons and neural circuits primarily concentrated in the hypothalamus and hindbrain in mammals. In this study, by using chemo/optogenetic techniques along with feeding assays, we investigate how neurons within the medial septal complex (MSc), a brain area implicated in emotion and cognition, contribute to food intake. We find that chemo/ optogenetic activation of MSc glutamatergic neurons profoundly reduces food intake during both light and dark periods of the rodent light cycle. Furthermore, we find that selective activation of MSc glutamatergic projections in paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) reduces food intake, suggesting that MSc glutamatergic neurons suppress feeding by activating downstream neurons in the PVH. Open-field behavioral assays reveal that these neurons do not overtly affect anxiety levels and locomotion. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that septal glutamatergic neurons exert anorexigenic effects by projecting to the PVH without affecting anxiety and physical activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13816-13821
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 26 2017


  • Appetite
  • Chemo/optogenetics
  • Medial septum
  • PVH
  • Suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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