Feeding is known to be profoundly affected by stress-relatedemotional states and eating disorders are comorbid with psychiatric symptoms and altered emotionalresponses.
The neural basis underlyingfeedingregulation by stress-relatedemotional changes is poorly understood. Here, we identify a novel projection from the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVH) to the ventral lateral septum (LSv) that shows a scalable regulation on feeding and behavioral changes related to emotion. Weak photostimulation of glutamatergic PVH→LSv terminals elicits stress-related self-grooming and strong photostimulation causes fear-related escape jumping associated with respective weak and strong inhibition on feeding.
In contrast, inhibition of glutamatergic inputs to LSv increases feeding with signs of reduced anxiety. LSv-projecting neurons are concentrated in rostral PVH. LSv and LSv-projecting PVH neurons are activated by stressors in vivo, whereas feeding bouts were associated with reduced activity of these neurons.
Thus, PVH→LSv neurotransmission underlies dynamic feeding by orchestrating emotional states, providing a novel neural circuit substrate underlying comorbidity between eating abnormalities and psychiatric disorders.
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