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Monday, 11 July, 2022

The major goal of the Laboratory is to elucidate the anatomy and physiology of the neuronal networks involved in the central regulation of the energy homeostasis in rodents and humans.

Using pharmacological, anatomical, electrophysiological, genetic and molecular biological techniques, the Laboratory studies (1) the mechanisms of the central regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis under physiological and pathophysiological conditions; (2) the neuronal pathways regulating the energy homeostasis.

1. Research focusing on the central regulation of the HPT axis investigates the sources of the neuronal inputs of the hypophysiotrop thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) neurons and elucidate the regulation of the hypophysiotrop TRH neurons by these inputs. Special attention is payed to the investigation of the integration of the hypophysiotrop TRH neurons into the neuronal network regulating the energy homeostasis and the elucidation of the central regulation of the non-thyroidal illness syndrome. The laboratory is also interested to understand how the tanycytes, a hypothalamic special glial cell type, regulate the HPT axis. To facilitate these studies, the Laboratory developed a toolset including TRH and proTRH antibodies raised in different species, probes for in situ hybridization and transgenic mice including TRH-IRES-tdTomato, TRH-IRES-Cre and TRH-IRES-CreERT2 mice. Together with the Molecular Cell Metabolism Laboratory, they generated and patented the Thyroid Hormone Action Indicator (THAI) mouse line that enables the examination of the tissue specific thyroid hormone action.

2. To better understand the neuronal networks regulating the energy homeostasis, the Laboratory uses refeeding of fasted animals as a satiety model. In these refed animals, the laboratory maps the anatomical and functional connectivity of the refeeding activated neuronal groups and examine the role of the refeeding activated pathways in the regulation of energy homeostasis. The Laboratory also characterize the GLP-1 receptor containing neuronal groups and characterize the role of GLP-1 in the regulation of these cell populations.

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