Speaker:Prof.Cheng Zhan,University of Science Technology of China

Title:Neuronal Mechanisms underlying the Interaction between Feeding Behavior and Immune Regulation

Time:10:00-11:30, December 

Venue:Dengyoucai Hall

Host:Yulong Li / Hui Dong


Food intake is a fundamental need for animals and humans, serving as the basis for survival and other higher-level needs. As one of the most essential innate behaviors, feeding is regulated by the nervous system. Over the past few decades, advancements have revealed multiple brain regions and neurons involved in the regulation of feeding, particularly the classical hypothalamic nuclei and their circuits that play a crucial role in feeding behavior regulation. In recent years, emerging evidences have discovered the significant involvement of the brainstem in regulating feeding behavior and energy metabolism. On the other hand, feeding behavior has important impacts on metabolic health, the immune system, and even aging and longevity. We are particularly interested in the relationship between feeding and inflammation and immunity. By utilizing techniques such as optogenetics / chemogenetics, behavioral studies, flow cytometry, and optical imaging, we have studied the neuronal mechanisms through which dietary restriction influences immune functions in the context of autoimmune diseases. Our findings reveal that a subset of appetite-promoting neurons in the brainstem possesses the ability to inhibit autoimmune diseases and excessive inflammatory responses. Additionally, we have elucidated the corresponding neural circuits and molecular mechanisms involved.