The control of metabolism and eating behavior is highly complex and is regulated by neurotransmitters and neuromodulators present in the central nervous system (CNS).The hypothalamus is the main structure involved in the regulation of food intake, however, this structure is modulated by other areas of the CNS, especially, limbic strutures that are involved in the control of emotions and behavioral responses, such as the paraventricular nucleus of hypothalamus, septal area, nucleus accumbens, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, the amygdala,córtex among others. In particular, the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), which is subdivided into 1 and 2 cingulate cortex (CG1 and CG2), prelimbic (Cg3, PL), infralímbic (IL) and dorsopeduncular (DP), have been shown part of the motivation to eat and in addition, this area have connections to the hypothalamus. Although there is evidence in the literature that demonstrate the involvement of MPFC in the modulation of food intake, it is not known what the possible neurotransmitters involved in this modulation. Among the neurotransmission present in the MPFC, the role played by the endocannabinoid system is little known.Endocannabinoids are involved in the regulation of appetite and induce an increase in food intake in animal and human models. Moreover, the CB1 receptor blockade reduces food intake. The endocannabinoid signaling system has proved promising in the context of research on eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and obesity. These diseases are of great concern today and has received special attention in recent decades due to the large number of affected individuals. But while these studies are of great importance, it is not known completely the role of the endocannabinoid system in the central nervous system and neither about which brain structures would be acting. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to investigate the role of the endocannabinoid system in the PL and IL cortices on modulation of feeding behavior in the rat.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: