ICLM Journal Club

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This Week - 23 April 2021 (9:30 a.m., via Zoom)

Speaker: Ananya Chowdhury

Title: “ Locus coeruleus anchors a trisynaptic circuit controlling fear-induced suppression of feeding ”

Abstract: The circuit mechanisms underlying fear-induced suppression of feeding are poorly understood. To help fill this gap, mice were fear conditioned, and the resulting changes in synaptic connectivity among the locus coeruleus (LC), the parabrachial nucleus (PBN), and the central nucleus of amygdala (CeA)—all of which are implicated in fear and feeding—were studied. LC neurons co-released noradrenaline and glutamate to excite PBN neurons and suppress feeding. LC neurons also suppressed inhibitory input to PBN neurons by inducing heterosynaptic, endocannabinoid-dependent, long-term depression of CeA synapses. Blocking or knocking down endocannabinoid receptors in CeA neurons prevented fear-induced depression of CeA synaptic transmission and fear-induced suppression of feeding. Altogether, these studies demonstrate that LC neurons play a pivotal role in modulating the circuitry that underlies fear-induced suppression of feeding, pointing to new ways of alleviating stress-induced eating disorders.

Blurb: Last year has been highly stressful with COVID onset, both professionally and personally for many. The anxiety and isolation has affected us all in some way. Stress has been shown to increase affinity for comfort food in some individuals while resulting in loss of appetite others.There are many articles being published about how feeding and appetite in different populations in different countries are affected during COVID (https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/appetite/special-issue/10PQ7HXZ535). This paper in Neuron is attempting to dissect which stress circuits might be responsible for suppression of feeding.

Relevant Papers: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2020.12.023

About Us


The Integrative Center for Learning and Memory (ICLM) is a multidisciplinary center of UCLA labs devoted to understanding the neural basis of learning and memory and its disorders. This will require a unified approach across different levels of analysis, including;

1. Elucidating the molecular cellular and systems mechanisms that allow neurons and synapses to undergo the long-term changes that ultimately correspond to 'neural memories'.

2. Understanding how functional dynamics and computations emerge from complex circuits of neurons, and how plasticity governs these processes.

3. Describing the neural systems in which different forms of learning and memory take place, and how these systems interact to ultimately generate behavior and cognition.

History of ICLM

The Integrative Center for Learning and Memory formally LMP started in its current form in 1998, and has served as a platform for many interactions and collaborations within UCLA. A key event organized by the group is the weekly ICLM Journal Club. For more than 10 years, graduate students, postdocs, principal investigators, and invited speakers have presented on topics ranging from the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, through computational models of learning, to behavior and cognition. Dean Buonomano oversees the ICLM journal club with help of student/post doctoral organizers. For other events organized by ICLM go to http://www.iclm.ucla.edu/Events.html.

Current Organizers:

Megha Sehgal (Silva Lab) & Giselle Fernandes (Silva Lab). Please email us at iclm.journalclub@gmail.com if you would like to get regular updates regarding our journal club and weekly reminders.

Current Faculty Advisor:

Dean Buonomano

Past Organizers:

i) Anna Matynia(Aug 2004 - Jun 2008) (Silva Lab)

ii) Robert Brown (Aug 2008 - Jun 2009) (Balleine Lab)

iii) Balaji Jayaprakash (Aug 2008 - Nov 2011) (Silva Lab)

iv) Justin Shobe & Thomas Rogerson (Dec 2011 - June 2013) (Silva Lab)

v) Walt Babiec (O'Dell Lab) (2013-2014)

vi) Walt Babiec (O'Dell Lab) & Helen Motanis (Buonomano Lab) (2014-2017)

vii) Helen Motanis (Buonomano Lab) & Shonali Dhingra (Mehta Lab) (2017-2018)

viii) Shonali Dhingra (Mehta Lab) (2018-2020)

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