Breaking News
September 18, 2018 - Protect your heart and health during ‘dog days’ of summer
September 18, 2018 - Faculty receive awards for promise in biomedical research, clinical care | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Digital games for CVD-related self-management improve exercise capacity and energy expenditure
September 18, 2018 - Adding PET scans to CT imaging can change treatment for women with cervical cancer
September 18, 2018 - Zika virus vaccine shows promise for treatment of fatal glioblastoma
September 18, 2018 - Theravance Biopharma and Mylan to Report New Data from Phase 3 Studies of Yupelri (revefenacin) in Oral Presentation at European Respiratory Society International Congress 2018
September 18, 2018 - INSiGHT identifies unique retinal regulatory genes
September 18, 2018 - Diversity, science leadership grants awarded to student-faculty pairs | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Many parents blame electronics for sleep problems among teens
September 18, 2018 - Researchers study neuronal activity in brain that prevents individuals from doing physical activity
September 18, 2018 - Purifying Proteins from Mammalian Cell Culture
September 18, 2018 - Researchers map 3D structure of toxic proteins used by Pseudomonas aeruginosa to trigger infection
September 18, 2018 - Outcome of ACL reconstruction related to the way you move post-surgery
September 18, 2018 - Study aims to investigate risk factors for PPCs in surgical patients with gastric cancer
September 18, 2018 - Ardelyx Submits New Drug Application for Tenapanor for IBS-C
September 18, 2018 - Sociodemographic disparities in eyeglass use among elderly
September 18, 2018 - New Drug Shows Promise for Progressive Form of MS
September 18, 2018 - Babies exposed to higher levels of organochlorine compounds in womb may have worse lung function
September 18, 2018 - Women exposed to trauma in their lives gave birth to underweight male infants
September 18, 2018 - Probiotic supplementation may reduce use of antibiotics, scientific analysis shows
September 18, 2018 - Resveratrol decreases pain severity and levels of inflammatory biomarkers in osteoarthritis patients
September 18, 2018 - Research shows pollution is reaching the placenta
September 18, 2018 - KAIST researchers develop heart-targeting drug delivery technology using tannin acid
September 18, 2018 - Muscle relaxants used during general anesthesia can increase risk of pulmonary complications
September 18, 2018 - Silicone breast implants may increase risk of rare adverse outcomes in women
September 18, 2018 - Pediatricians Have a Role in Encouraging Play Among Children
September 18, 2018 - California’s Medicaid program hits ‘print’ when the feds need info
September 18, 2018 - Genes, environment and schizophrenia—new study finds the placenta is the missing link
September 18, 2018 - Boehringer Ingelheim announces study results of COPD patients treated with Spiolto Respimat
September 18, 2018 - PAREXEL launches Patient Innovation Center to improve drug development process
September 18, 2018 - Children’s National and NIAID launch pediatric clinical research partnership
September 18, 2018 - Researchers may be overlooking complexities in social relations of primates
September 18, 2018 - Key signaling molecule that helps stem cells make healthy bone declines as we age
September 18, 2018 - More women veterans with chronic pain use CIH therapies than men
September 18, 2018 - As Earth Warms, Heat-Related Deaths Will Multiply
September 18, 2018 - Labetalol use up for patients with preeclampsia and asthma
September 18, 2018 - MoreGrasp project shows significant results in field of thought-controlled grasp neuroprosthetics
September 18, 2018 - Drumming can benefit school children with autism
September 18, 2018 - Busyness can help people to make virtuous choices, research shows
September 18, 2018 - Two-minute bursts of in-class exercise breaks do not disrupt learning and teaching
September 18, 2018 - New online tools aid surgeons and specialists who care for older people
September 18, 2018 - Researchers use CRISPR to identify gene that helps cells resist flavivirus infection
September 18, 2018 - Brain’s support cells may play a central role in repetitive behaviors related to OCD
September 18, 2018 - Scientists discover novel mechanism by which synthesized proteins reach target compartment in cell
September 18, 2018 - Easy and rapid test for viral infections can cut antibiotic use, hospitalizations
September 18, 2018 - Gunshot victims more likely to require blood transfusions and die than other trauma patients
September 18, 2018 - Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Phase 1b/2 Clinical Trial of Sapacitabine With Olaparib in BRCA Mutant Breast Cancer
September 18, 2018 - Older adults fitted with cochlear implants exhibit poor brain function
September 18, 2018 - Inexpensive testing spurs cancer patients’ relatives to assess own disease risk | News Center
September 18, 2018 - Aging may have originated at the very beginning of life, says study
September 18, 2018 - New research on sperm quality updates advice for couples trying to conceive
September 18, 2018 - Paracetamol use in infancy may increase risk of developing asthma by the age of 18
September 18, 2018 - Promising gene therapy for ‘day blind’ sheep now safe for clinical trials in human patients
September 18, 2018 - New research shows evidence of soot from polluted air in placentas
September 17, 2018 - Expanding primary care buprenorphine treatment could curb opioid overdose crisis
September 17, 2018 - A look inside the child detention centers near the U.S. border
September 17, 2018 - New issue considers role of coronary angiography after cardiac arrest
September 17, 2018 - Scientists explore whether seafood could be the source of next anti-cancer drug
September 17, 2018 - Epidural stimulation aids in recovery of individuals with spinal cord injury
September 17, 2018 - ATS publishes new guideline on role of weight management in sleep apnea treatment
September 17, 2018 - Study reveals long-term safety, efficacy of Ofev in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
September 17, 2018 - Risks Posed by Spreading Oil and Gas Wastewater on Roads
September 17, 2018 - How to choose a nursing home: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
September 17, 2018 - Death from touching fentanyl? A myth, says Trump administration training video
September 17, 2018 - Physician or physician-scientist — a new curriculum at the School of Medicine trains both
September 17, 2018 - Why Genetic Mutations Cause Disease in Some People but Not Others
September 17, 2018 - EU-funded project makes recommendations to protect rights of intersex people
September 17, 2018 - Discovery of unusual biosynthetic pathways could aid in the search for new natural products
September 17, 2018 - FDA approves Teva’s AJOVY injection for preventive treatment of migraine in adults
September 17, 2018 - People battling substance use disorders may benefit from meth-relapse prevention compound
September 17, 2018 - Inhaled steroid use linked to greater risk of NTM lung infections
September 17, 2018 - KKH develops new test to enable faster diagnosis of critically ill children with rare diseases
September 17, 2018 - How to Reassure Kids When Florence Strikes
September 17, 2018 - Scientists develop new technique to heal large ulcers by reprogramming wound cells into skin cells
September 17, 2018 - How researchers are working to render disease obsolete
September 17, 2018 - Study confirms link between use of muscle relaxants and respiratory complications
September 17, 2018 - Machine learning program could distinguish between two lung cancer types
September 17, 2018 - Ensysce receives award from NIDA to undertake development of opioid overdose protection platform
September 17, 2018 - Women with undiagnosed STIs may be at greater risk of negative premenstrual symptoms
September 17, 2018 - New discovery could improve diagnosis and treatment of lupus in black Africans
Binge-eating mice reveal obesity clues

Binge-eating mice reveal obesity clues

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Chocolate bar similar to the ones used in this study. Credit: CC0

Obesity is a growing issue in many countries, accelerated by easy access to calorie-dense foods that are pleasurable to eat (known as an ‘obesogenic environment’). But while it’s clear that eating too much leads to weight gain, little is known about the underlying behaviours that lead to overeating.

To mimic this obesogenic environment, the teams led by Mara Dierssen at CRG and Rafael Maldonado at UPF offered mice the option of a high-fat ‘cafeteria’ diet or a mixture of chopped-up commercial chocolate bars alongside their regular lab chow, before carrying out a detailed analysis of the animals’ activity and feeding behaviour. Their results have been published in two back-to-back articles in the journal Addiction Biology.

Working together with Cedric Notredame (CRG) and Elena Martín-García (UPF), the scientists found that as well as becoming obese, the mice started very early to show the signs of addiction-like behaviour and binge-eating in response to these enticing foods.

For example, when offered chocolate for just one hour per day, the animals will compulsively ‘binge’, consuming as much chocolate in one hour as they would over a whole day if it was continually available. They also showed inflexible behaviours, similar to those seen in addiction, choosing to wait for chocolate while ignoring freely available standard chow. Yet, at the same time, the chocolate did not seem to satiate hunger as well as regular food.

The team found that animals on the high fat or chocolate diet also changed their daily routines. They were more likely to eat during the daytime – mice are usually nocturnal and feed at night – and they ate shorter more frequent ‘snacks’ rather than larger, longer-spaced meals.

A major problem in treating obesity is the high rate of relapse to abnormal food-taking habits after maintaining an energy balanced diet. The scientists evaluated this relapse and found that extended access to hypercaloric diets impairs the control of food seeking behaviour and has deleterious effects on learning, motivation and behavioural flexibility.

“Our results revealed that long-term exposure to hypercaloric diets impair the ability to control eating behaviour leading to negative effects on the cognitive processes responsible for a rational control of food intake” says Maldonado, head of the Neuropharmacology Laboratory at UPF.

“Obesity is not just a metabolic disease – it is a behavioural issue. People who are overweight or obese are usually told to eat less and move more, but this is too simplistic.” explains Mara Dierssen, group leader of the Cellular and Systems Neurobiology laboratory at CRG. “We need to look at the whole process. By understanding the behaviours that lead to obesity and spotting the tell-tale signs early, we could find therapies or treatments that stop people from becoming overweight in the first place.”

The scientists are now expanding their research to larger numbers of animals and they are also planning a study to look at addiction-like behaviours in obese people to see how well their results translate to humans.

“It is very hard to lose weight successfully, and many people end up trapped in a cycle of yo-yo dieting,” Dierssen explains. “We need to focus on preventing obesity, and this study shows us that understanding and modifying behaviour could be the key”, as Maldonado states “these studies reveal the major behavioural and cognitive changes promoted by hypercaloric food intake, which could be crucial for the repeated weight gain and the difficulties to an appropriate diet control”.


Explore further:
Beware of palm oil in your Valentine’s chocolate

More information:
Jose Espinosa-Carrasco et al, Time-course and dynamics of obesity-related behavioral changes induced by energy-dense foods in mice, Addiction Biology (2018). DOI: 10.1111/adb.12595

Journal reference:
Addiction Biology

Provided by:
Center for Genomic Regulation

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles