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ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Research Project #429564

Research Project: Role of GABAergic Neural Circuit in Regulation of Feeding Behavior and Obesity

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Project Number: 3092-51000-064-50-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2015
End Date: Mar 31, 2019

Objective 1: Determine the physiological roles of genetically defined PBN microcircuits in differential control of feeding behavior and energy metabolism. Objective 2: Determine the physiological roles of key GABAA receptor subunits expressed in distinct PBN microcircuits for the regulation of appetite, energy balance, and development of obesity.

The rise in obesity is the result of multiple factors, all with different degrees of impact. These factors include dietary, biological, behavioral, economic, and environmental. There is a need to further investigate the causal factors for obesity and sequelae such as heart disease and diabetes so that effective diet-, activity-, and science-based policy solutions to these problems may be developed. To do this, a clearer understanding is needed of the integrated roles of physical activity, diet and dietary components in energy metabolism, eating behavior and timing, satiety, and health outcomes. We will employ innovative methods to explore physiologic mechanisms and genotypic influences that underlie obesity and its consequences. There is a need to understand the impacts of obesity in an aging population with respect to development of neurological deficit, muscle loss, and bone loss. Other studies will investigate the mechanisms by which obesity negatively alters the metabolism and bioavailability of nutrients and other bioactives. Studies performed in animals and in cell culture will elucidate the role of specific processes that contribute to the development of obesity and obesity-related disorders.