Hypothalamic sensing of fatty acids


Selective regions of the brain, including the hypothalamus, are capable of gathering information on the body's nutritional status in order to implement appropriate behavioral and metabolic responses to changes in fuel availability. This review focuses on direct metabolic signaling within the hypothalamus. There is growing evidence supporting the idea that fatty acid metabolism within discrete hypothalamic regions can function as a sensor for nutrient availability that can integrate multiple nutritional and hormonal signals.

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Figure 1: Delivery and metabolism of fatty acids in the hypothalamus.

Debbie Maizels

Figure 2: Hypothalamic regulation of LCFA-CoA levels.

Debbie Maizels

Figure 3: Convergence of nutritional and endocrine signals on hypothalamic LCFA-CoA.

Debbie Maizels


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This work was supported by the Skirball Institute, grants from the National Institutes of Health (to L.R.: DK45024, DK48321 and AG21654; to G.J.S.: DK47208) and grants from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Diabetes Research & Training Center (DK20541). T.K.T. Lam is supported by a training grant from the National Institute of Aging (T32-AG023475).

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Correspondence to Luciano Rossetti.

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Lam, T., Schwartz, G. & Rossetti, L. Hypothalamic sensing of fatty acids. Nat Neurosci 8, 579–584 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1456

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