EDRS 2019
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Abstract MODELING THE INTERPLAY OF ANXIETY AND FOOD RESTRICTION IN ANOREXIA NERVOSA USING CELLULAR AND CIRCUIT-LEVEL STUDIES IN MICE
Mark L Andermann, Hakan Kucukdereli, Andrew Lutas, Kayla Fernando, Trent Pottala, Yoav Livneh
Divison of Endocrinology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, United States

Restrictive-type anorexia nervosa causes anguish in patients and families, and can often be fatal. Treatments remain inadequate, in part because we lack a good understanding of the underlying neural circuits and their pathology. Several important brain areas involved in stress and learning of cues may be drive altered reactions to food cues and aversive cues in patients with anorexia nervosa. We are developing novel mouse models for understanding the basic circuits that underlie anorexia nervosa.  We are using cutting-edge neuroscience imaging techniques to test the hypothesis that natural and artificial hunger (i.e. direct optogenetic and chemogenetic stimulation of hypothalamic agouti-related peptide neurons) may suppress aversive cue responses in neural circuits involved in stress and anxiety, including the basolateral amygdala. In a second related series of experiments, we are developing a novel mouse model of anorexia nervosa, and are testing the hypothesis that mice in high-anxiety contexts will learn to voluntarily seek direct optogenetic stimulation of hunger-promoting hypothalamic neurons, while healthy mice will actively avoid such stimulation. We have established all experimental methods required for testing these hypotheses. Together, these experiments will provide novel approaches to understanding the neural circuits underlying learned behaviors that promote sustained food restriction in anorexia nervosa.

Category
Psychological