Two forces for arousal: Pitting hunger versus circadian influences and identifying neurons responsible for changes in behavioral arousal
Ribeiro, Ana C. | Sawa, Evelyn | Carren-LeSauter, Isabelle | LeSauter, Joseph | Silver, Rae | Pfaff, Donald W.
The mechanisms underlying CNS arousal in response to homeostatic pressures are not known. In this study, we pitted two forces for CNS arousal against each other (circadian influences vs. restricted food availability) and measured the neuronal activation that occurs in a behaviorally defined group of animals that exhibited increased arousal in anticipation of feeding restricted to their normal sleeping time. The number of c-FOS+ neurons was significantly increased only in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH) in these mice, compared with control animals whose feeding was restricted to their normal active and feeding time (P < 0.01). Because the activation of VMH neurons coincides with the earliest signs of behavioral arousal preceding a change in meal time, we infer that VMH activation is involved in the increased arousal in anticipation of food.Show more [+] Less [-]