Research results are reported that hungry mice may prioritize mating over eating

It is believed that general animals follow instinctive behaviors such as eating and breeding, but a research team led by Tatiana Korotkova at the University Hospital of Cologne found that mice in a hungry state control their appetite. Stimulating

neurons with receptors in the brain that produce a hormone called 'leptin ' showed that mice prefer to mate with mice of the opposite sex despite hunger.

Complementary lateral hypothalamic populations resist hunger pressure to balance nutritional and social needs: Cell Metabolism

Eat, Drink or Mate? Here's How Mice Decide

Mice Choose Sex Over Food, Even When Hungry | Technology Networks

To elucidate the hierarchy of instinctive behavior in mice, the research team studied neurons within the brain's hypothalamus , called the 'feeding center' associated with appetite and thirst.

To investigate how the instinctive behavior of mice is affected by hunger levels, the research team fed mice with unlimited access to food and moderately hungry mice with restricted food intake for almost 24 hours for 5 days. We compared the behavior of chronically hungry mice that were food restricted. At that time, using a method called ' optogenetics ,' which uses light to control the target neurons, by stimulating and activating neurons with leptin receptors, eating was restricted for almost 24 hours. Although the mice were hungry, they tended to prioritize mating with the opposite sex over eating food.

On the other hand, chronically hungry mice, whose food intake was restricted for 5 days, optogenetically stimulated leptin-receptor neurons to eat rather than communicate with their peers or mate. tended to take precedence.

The research team initially believed that leptin was essential for suppressing hunger and responding to metabolic signals, and did not believe it played a role in facilitating communication or mating in mice. However, when an animal's body is full, neurons produce leptin, which suppresses appetite and allows them to focus on other interests besides food. Therefore, when the neurons that produce leptin are stimulated and activated, mice are said to have mated.

On the other hand, when we stimulated neurons that produce ``

neurotensin '' related to thirst, we found that mice in any state gave priority to drinking water, and no mice that gave priority to communication or mating were found.

Korotkova said, ``We used to think that one neuron had one specific function, but in fact, it turned out that one neuron has multiple different functions. 'It makes more sense biologically to have multiple functions in the same neuron or cell to coordinate behavior.'

News media Longevity.Technology said, ``It is difficult to apply the results of this study to human behavior, which is different from mice, but it may be a clue to help people with eating disorders such as bulimia. There is.'

in Science, Posted by log1r_ut