Speaker Details

Speaker SL

Sarah Xinwei LUO

Liver-brain axis in metabolic regulation

Maintaining energy homeostasis requires accurate sensing of incoming nutritional substrates and internal metabolic state, coupled with mechanisms to direct and utilize available resources. As a gateway between the gastrointestinal tract and the rest of the body, the mammalian liver is uniquely positioned to act as both metabolic and immune sensor and effector. Yet, the liver does not act in isolation and its functions are tightly regulated by the brain through innervation of the autonomic nervous system. The bidirectional connection between the central nervous system and hepatic neurocircuitry remains largely undefined, and presents a novel avenue for discovery. In this talk, I will present our findings of a sensory liver-brain neural circuit mediating communication of inflammatory state and the consequences of manipulating this circuit on feeding regulation. In addition, I will discuss preliminary findings on novel brain regions synaptically connected to the liver that may impact metabolic regulation. These studies further our understanding of brain communication with peripheral organs and may lead to novel strategies for managing inflammation and metabolic diseases.