Uncovering the Dynamics Between Gut Hormones and the Brain

Research on hunger, out of the University of California San Francisco and led by Lisa Beutler, has uncovered interesting dynamics between gut hormones and the brain. In order to maintain energy homeostasis, signals are sent between the brain and the gut. The two most studied cell types in hunger regulation are agouti-related protein (AgRP) and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. When food is detected, neurons send signals to inhibit AgRP via serotonin, cholecystokinin (CCK), and peptide YY (PYY).   Interestingly, even just sensory detection of food in mice triggered a quick and temporary inhibition, however, only the consumption of food caused sustained inhibition. They did not see the same effect in mice that were already satiated and found that the overall response was blood glucose-independent. While leptin is critical for regulation of hunger, they discovered that it had no acute in vivo effect on food intake and was not required for the response of hunger and satiety neurons to sensory cues. Leptin did, however, activate POMC neurons and inhibit AgRP neurons on a timeline of hours, and only in food deprived animals.1


  1. L.R. Beutler et al., Neuron, 96, 461 (2017). Retrieved from http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(17)30912-1

Denise Karounos

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Denise Karounos joined Peptides International in October 2016. After completing her BS in chemistry from West Virginia University, she spent time as an organic chemist at Bachem Bioscience synthesizing peptides and amino acid derivatives. Denise has experience with both solid and solution-phase peptide synthesis, and has worked under both research and cGMP settings. After completing her MBA from Saint Joseph’s University, Denise transitioned into product management of peptides and amino acid derivatives. In her marketing role, she had many duties including but not limited to product management, market research, creating and producing marketing materials, handling US catalog distribution and customer database, email marketing, quoting and inside sales, sales calls, and coordinating and attending trade conferences. 

At PI, Denise's duties encompass both sales and marketing, bringing to bear her extensive lab and sales support experience. Contact her today and see how Denise can assist you with your peptide research project.