Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 95 (1), 138-152.e5

A Central Catecholaminergic Circuit Controls Blood Glucose Levels During Stress


A Central Catecholaminergic Circuit Controls Blood Glucose Levels During Stress

Zhe Zhao et al. Neuron.


Stress-induced hyperglycemia is a fundamental adaptive response that mobilizes energy stores in response to threats. Here, our examination of the contributions of the central catecholaminergic (CA) neuronal system to this adaptive response revealed that CA neurons in the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) control stress-induced hyperglycemia. Ablation of VLM CA neurons abolished the hyperglycemic response to both physical and psychological stress, whereas chemogenetic activation of these neurons was sufficient to induce hyperglycemia. We further found that CA neurons in the rostral VLM, but not those in the caudal VLM, cause hyperglycemia via descending projections to the spinal cord. Monosynaptic tracing experiments showed that VLM CA neurons receive direct inputs from multiple stress-responsive brain areas. Optogenetic studies identified an excitatory PVN-VLM circuit that induces hyperglycemia. This study establishes the central role of VLM CA neurons in stress-induced hyperglycemia and substantially expands our understanding of the central mechanism that controls glucose metabolism.

Keywords: catecholaminergic neurons; glucose metabolism; hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus-ventrolateral medulla pathway; stress; stress-induced hyperglycemia; ventrolateral medulla.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 9 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources