Session: 5

PS5-01 | Functional aspects of growth hormone secretagogue receptor expression in the lateral hypothalamic area of male mice

Franco Barrile

Laboratorio de Neurofisiología. Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Celular (IMBICE)

Ghrelin is a stomach-derived hormone that promotes a variety of functions and acts via the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR). GHSR is highly expressed in the brain including the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA), a region involved in feeding behaviors, locomotor activity and reward-related behaviors, among others. Here we used male C57BL6 mice to gain insights into the functional aspects of the GHSR-expressing neurons of the LHA (GHSR-LHA neurons). First, we found that intra-LHA infusion of ghrelin increased food intake and transiently increased locomotor activity. Also, intra-LHA infusions of ghrelin increased the levels of the marker of neuronal activity c-Fos in the arcuate nucleus (involved in food intake regulation) but not in the LHA. Finally, we used an adeno-associated virus expressing Cre recombinase to restore GHSR expression in GHSR-LHA neurons of GHSR-deficient mice. Preliminary data indicate that re-expression of GHSR exclusively in the LHA may increase some reward-related behaviors such as consumption of high-fat diet in a binge eating model. Thus, GHSR expression in the LHA may mediate food consumption, locomotor activity and reward-related behaviors.