Lateral Hypothalamus GABAergic Neurons Modulate Consummatory Behaviors Regardless of the Caloric Content or Biological Relevance of the Consumed Stimuli

Neuropsychopharmacology. 2016 May;41(6):1505-12. doi: 10.1038/npp.2015.304. Epub 2015 Oct 7.


It was recently reported that activation of a subset of lateral hypothalamus (LH) GABAergic neurons induced both appetitive (food-seeking) and consummatory (eating) behaviors in vGat-ires-cre mice, while inhibition or deletion of GABAergic neurons blunted these behaviors. As food and caloric-dense liquid solutions were used, the data reported suggest that these LH GABAergic neurons may modulate behaviors that function to maintain homeostatic caloric balance. Here we report that chemogenetic activation of this GABAergic population in vGat-ires-cre mice increased consummatory behavior directed at any available stimulus, including those entailing calories (food, sucrose, and ethanol), those that do not (saccharin and water), and those lacking biological relevance (wood). Chemogenetic inhibition of these neurons attenuated consummatory behaviors. These data indicate that LH GABAergic neurons modulate consummatory behaviors regardless of the caloric content or biological relevance of the consumed stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Bulimia / physiopathology
  • Consummatory Behavior / physiology*
  • Drinking / physiology
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Female
  • Food
  • GABAergic Neurons / physiology*
  • Hypothalamus / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic