Lateral Hypothalamic Control Of Energy Balance
Food and water are necessary for survival, but can only be obtained via ingestive behavior (feeding, drinking, and moving). Survival thus depends on the ability of the brain to coordinate the need for water and energy with appropriate behaviors to modify their intake as necessary for homeostasis. However, the balance of these behaviors also inherently determines body weight, and imbalances contribute to the development of weight disorders, such as obesity and anorexia nervosa. The lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) of the brain is anatomically positioned to coordinate the sensation of osmotic and energy status with goal-directed ingestive behaviors necessary to maintain homeostasis and body weight, and, hence, may hold insight into the potential treatment for energy balance disorders. This volume reviews the essential role of the LHA for the control of body weight, from its historical description as a "feeding center" to the current view of this LHA as a cellularly heterogeneous hub that regulates multiple aspects of physiology to influence body weight. Furthermore, we evaluate how specific LHA populations coordinate certain metabolic cues and behaviors, which may guide the development of pathway-specific interventions to improve the treatment of energy balance disorders.