Peripheral signals that communicate diet and exercise to the brain
Peripheral tissues communicate their status to the brain in ways that can modify behavior by engaging higher order processes. Diet and exercise can have potent effects on behaviors, changing appetite, reducing stress, and activating other aspects of the central and peripheral nervous system. There are likely multiple signals that mediate this, but this project will focus on an emerging hormone called GDF15. In particular, we are interested in the impact of moderate to vigorous physical activity and low-carbohydrate diets on the production of this hormone using a combination of mouse and human studies. Long term, this project will study how this hormone responds to changes in diet and exercise to modify behaviors such as food intake, food preference and anxiety.