Chronic Restraint Stress Decreases the Excitability of Hypothalamic POMC Neuron and Increases Food Intake

Go Eun Ha, Eunji Cheong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system, and induces the release of glucocorticoids, stress hormones, into circulation. Many studies have shown that stress affects feeding behavior, however, the underlying circuitry and molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. The balance between orexigenic (simulating appetite) and anorexigenic (loss of appetite) signals reciprocally modulate feeding behavior. It is suggested that proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus are the first-order neurons that respond to the circulating signals of hunger and satiety. Here, we examined a chronic restraint stress model and observed an increase in food intake, which was not correlated with anhedonia. We investigated whether stress affects the properties of POMC and NPY neurons and found that chronic restraint stress reduced the excitatory inputs onto POMC neurons and increased the action potential threshold. Therefore, our study suggests that chronic stress modulates the intrinsic excitability and excitatory inputs in POMC neurons, leading to changes in feeding behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-386
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Neurobiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (2017M3C7A1023471, 2020R1A4A1019009, and 2021R1A2C3007164), the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) and Korea Dementia Research Center (KDRC), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare and Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea (HU20C0066), and the Yonsei Signature Research Cluster Program of 2021-22-0014.

Publisher Copyright:
© Experimental Neurobiology 2021.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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