Gene Therapy Restores Feeding Behavior to Starving

HHMI bionews at
Fri Jul 20 12:44:48 EST 2001

Gene Therapy Restores Feeding Behavior to Starving Mice

HHMI researchers have used gene therapy to rejuvenate feeding behavior in
starving mice. Prior to treatment, the genetically engineered mice had been
avoiding food because their brains did not produce the proper amount of the
neurotransmitter dopamine.

The experiments provide new information about the regions of the brain that
integrate internal hunger signals and external sensory information about
food to trigger feeding behavior. The studies suggest that a low level of
dopamine may contribute to the nutritional disorders observed in some people
who have Parkinson's disease.

Research published in the June 2001 issue of the journal Neuron.
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