Roles for gut vagal sensory signals in determining energy availability and energy expenditure

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The gut sensory vagus transmits a wide range of meal-related mechanical, chemical and gut peptide signals from gastrointestinal and hepatic tissues to the central nervous system at the level of the caudal brainstem. Results from studies using neurophysiological, behavioral physiological and metabolic approaches that challenge the integrity of this gut-brain axis support an important role for these gut signals in the negative feedback control of energy availability by limiting food intake during a meal. These experimental approaches have now been applied to identify important and unanticipated contributions of the vagal sensory gut-brain axis to the control of two additional effectors of overall energy balance: the feedback control of endogenous energy availability through hepatic glucose production and metabolism, and the control of energy expenditure through brown adipose tissue thermogenesis. Taken together, these studies reveal the pleiotropic influences of gut vagal meal-related signals on energy balance, and encourage experimental efforts aimed at understanding how the brainstem represents, organizes and coordinates gut vagal sensory signals with these three determinants of energy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-153
Number of pages3
JournalBrain research
StatePublished - Aug 15 2018


  • Brown adipose tissue thermogenesis
  • Energy expenditure
  • Gut peptides
  • Gut-brain axis
  • Hepatic glucose production
  • Vagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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