Science of Fat

Lecture 4 – Exploring Obesity: From the Depths of the Brain to the Far Pacific

by Jeffrey M. Friedman, MD, PhD

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  1.  1.  Start of Lecture 4
  2.  2.  Introduction by Grants Program Director Dr. Dennis Liu
  3.  3.  Introductory interview with Dr. Jeffrey Friedman
  4.  4.  Outline of Lecture 4
  5.  5.  Obesity is usually caused by leptin resistance, not leptin deficiency
  6.  6.  How does leptin act on a neuron?
  7.  7.  Animation: Neuroanatomy of the mouse hypothalamus
  8.  8.  Functions of the hypothalamus
  9.  9.  The leptin circuit in the hypothalamus
  10. 10.  How to label two neuronal types differently
  11. 11.  How does leptin affect the activity of hypothalamic neurons?
  12. 12.  Animation: Leptin rewiring neuronal connectivity
  13. 13.  Leptin rapidly rewires feeding circuits
  14. 14.  We need to understand the overall wiring diagram
  15. 15.  Feeding is a complex motivational behavior
  16. 16.  Method for tracing connected neurons using the Cre recombinase
  17. 17.  Where are the neuronal inputs to the leptin circuit?
  18. 18.  Q&A: How did you initially isolate NPY and MSH neurons?
  19. 19.  Q&A: Connections between skin pigmentation and eating?
  20. 20.  How does variation in genes lead to obesity?
  21. 21.  Hunter-gatherer and Fertile Crescent genes
  22. 22.  Pacific island of Kosrae: A site to study genetic variation
  23. 23.  Tracing inheritance of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
  24. 24.  Using DNA chips to analyze many SNPs at once
  25. 25.  Studies of isolated populations can find rare single-gene disorders
  26. 26.  Mapping rare genetic markers by analyzing homozygous individuals
  27. 27.  Developing a genetic framework to understand how leptin works
  28. 28.  It's important not to blame and stigmatize the obese
  29. 29.  Q&A: Disadvantages of studying an isolated population?
  30. 30.  Q&A: Does the research provide any benefit to the Kosraeans?
  31. 31.  Q&A: How often do you need to inject leptin?
  32. 32.  Q&A: Can anorexia be caused by leptin oversensitivity?
  33. 33.  Q&A: Is there a connection between depression and leptin?
  34. 34.  Closing remarks by HHMI President Dr. Thomas Cech


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