Wired for eating: how is an active feeding circuitry established in the postnatal brain?

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2018 Oct:52:165-171. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.07.003. Epub 2018 Jul 19.


From birth, mammals have to find food and maximize caloric intake to ensure growth and survival. Suckling must be initiated quickly after birth and then maintained and controlled until weaning. It is a complex process involving interactions between sensory and motor neuronal pathways. Meanwhile, the control of food intake and energy homeostasis is progressively established via the development of hypothalamic circuits. The development of these circuits is influenced by hormonal and nutritional signals and can be disturbed in a variety of developmental disorders leading to long-term metabolic, behavioral and cognitive dysfunctions. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the neuronal circuits involved in early postnatal feeding processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / growth & development
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Hypothalamus / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / growth & development
  • Nerve Net / metabolism
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Olfactory Perception / physiology*
  • Sucking Behavior / physiology*
  • Touch Perception / physiology*