Neurobiology of food intake and body weight regulation: the mechanism of leptin signaling in the hypothalamus. Date Added: 8/4/2003 9:45:00 AM
Last Updated: 8/26/2003 2:21:00 PM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
Dr. Sahu's research is directed towards understanding neurobiology of feeding, obesity and diabetes, and mechanisms of hypothalamic action of peripheral metabolic factors in controlling reproduction. Recently, leptin, a long-sought satiety factor of adipocytes origin, has been identified as a key peripheral metabolic signal that regulates food intake, body weight and reproduction. Since obese individuals have more leptin in their blood, it is
hypothesized that leptin resistance may be the major cause of obesity in human. We are currently engaged in research using a rat model to understand the hypothalamic mechanisms of leptin signaling, particularly the molecular
mechanism of leptin resistance. In this regard, primary emphasis of this laboratory is on a) various neuropeptidergic systems, including galanin, melanin-concentrating hormone, proopio-melanocortin, neurotensin, neuropeptide
Y and orexin; b) leptin receptors in mediating leptin signaling in the hypothalamus and c) signal transduction mechanisms, specifically the JAK-STAT and PI3K-phosphodiesterase 3B-cAMP pathways of leptin action in the brain.
Fellows will have the opportunity to work on the area of hypothalamic signaling mechanisms that
transduce the actions of leptin, insulin and other metabolic factors in regulation of food intake and body weight in obesity and diabetes.
Techniques graduate student will learn:
In situ hybridization; immunohistochemistry; RNAse protection assay and Northern blots;
RT-PCR, Electrophoretic mobility shift assay; microinjection of the drugs in specific
brain regions, in vivo techniques to evaluate neuropeptide release in specific
hypothalamic sites; gene therapy with adeno-associated viral vectors; RIA.
Cell Biology And Molecular Physiology
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