Authors- Giuseppe D’Agostino1,2*, David J Lyons1, Claudia Cristiano1, Luke K Burke2, Joseph C Madara3, John N Campbell3, Ana Paula Garcia2, Benjamin B Land4,  Bradford B Lowell3, Ralph J Dileone4, Lora K Heisler1,2*

A review by Dr Robert Hartley, CoolLED

Obesity and its health effects is a major problem and that is becoming more prevalent. Researching the cells in the brain that are affected by food intake and satiety mechanisms is important and may lead to other forms of intervention beyond dietary control. One group of cells that may be responsive to food intake are those producing CCK. Also, it is important to determine the networks and connections that cells make to assess downstream functions within a network.

Functional investigation of individual cells by traditional electrophysiology methods can determine their function. However, sometimes it is not possible to see networks without opting for other methods.  Highlighting the desired cells for other types of analysis can be achieved with genetic methods. For example using Cre-LOX to express eYFP to fully label the whole cell to determine networks and optogenetics to investigate their function.

The researchers employed a range of methods in this paper, including behavioural analysis, optogenetic stimulation and in vitro cell recordings.  Firstly to test if the CCK cells in the brain region NTS were activated by food intake they looked for a marker of early activation in cells. This was clearly shown by c-FOS immunoreactivity. Optogenetic stimulation of these cells reduced the spontaneous feed episodes. Following photo stimulation of the channelrhodopsin2 in the brain slice, in vitro optogenetic experiments were performed to validate the results. These experiments used a CoolLED pE-4000 for photostimulation on traditional electrophysiology apparatus.

This paper uses a range of techniques to answer one of the pressing health issues in modern day society.

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Further further information on this research paper.