An excitatory ventral hippocampus to lateral septum circuit that suppresses feeding

Nat Commun. 2015 Dec 15;6:10188. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10188.


Previous research has focused on feeding circuits residing in the hindbrain and midbrain that govern homeostatic or hedonic control of food intake. However, the feeding circuits controlling emotional or cognitive aspects of food intake are largely unknown. Here we use chemical genetics and optogenetic techniques to dissect appetite control circuits originating from ventral hippocampus (vHPC), a brain region implicated in emotion and cognition. We find that the vHPC projects functional glutamatergic synaptic inputs to the lateral septum (LS) and optogenetic activation of vHPC projections in LS reduces food intake. Consistently, food intake is suppressed by chemogenetic activation of glutamatergic neurons in the vHPC that project to the LS and inactivation of LS neurons blunts vHPC-induced suppression of feeding. Collectively, our results identify an anorexigenic neural circuit originating from vHPC to LS in the brain, revealing a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of anorexia or other appetite disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety
  • Brain Mapping
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Locomotion
  • Mice
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Random Allocation
  • Septal Nuclei / anatomy & histology*
  • Septal Nuclei / physiology*