Associate Member, Monell Chemical Senses Center
B.S., Medical Biochemistry, University of London
Wellcome Trust Ph.D., Cellular and Molecular Physiology, University of Liverpool
The de Lartigue lab studies the neurobiology of eating. Our research focuses on how sensing of internal stimuli, especially meal-related cues from the gut, influences the decision of when, where and how much to eat.
My lab has been at the forefront of developing novel tools to visualize, map, record, and manipulate subsets of vagal sensory neurons. Using these tools, we have been addressing fundamental questions about the role of these previously intractable neurons in the control of eating, including: 1) the range of gut signals that are sensed in response to a meal, 2) the types of feeding behaviors that these neurons control, and 3) the mechanisms of action. By combining viral tract tracing, in vivo optogenetics, and behavioral neuroscience approaches we have demonstrated a link between the gut and brain circuits involved in meal termination, motivated behavior, as well as learning & memory. These findings published in a number of high-impact publications – including Cell, Gastroenterology, Current Biology, Nature Communications and Cell Reports – identify a previously unsuspected role of the gut-brain axis in diverse aspects of feeding behavior.
Current projects are focused on addressing fundamental questions about the gut-brain axis, including:
- Whether the left and right vagus nerve have asymmetrical functions in the control of eating?
- What are the circuits that control the innate drive to consume fats and sugars?
- Are gut-brain circuits disrupted under certain disease conditions?
- Which brain regions are particularly sensitive to vagal inputs?
gut-brain signaling, food intake, satiety, motivated behavior, learning and memory, calcium imaging, obesity
Krieger, J. P., Asker, M., van der Velden, P., Börchers, S., Richard, J. E., Maric, I., Longo, F., Singh, A., de Lartigue, G., & Skibicka, K. P. (2022). Neural Pathway for Gut Feelings: Vagal Interoceptive Feedback From the Gastrointestinal Tract Is a Critical Modulator of Anxiety-like Behavior. Biological psychiatry, S0006-3223(22)01253-7.
Brierley, D. I., Holt, M. K., Singh, A., de Araujo, A., McDougle, M., Vergara, M., … de Lartigue, G. & Trapp, S. (2021). Central and peripheral GLP-1 systems independently suppress eating. Nature metabolism, 3(2), 258-273.
McDougle, M., Quinn, D., Diepenbroek, C., Singh, A., de la Serre, C., & de Lartigue, G. (2021). Intact vagal gut‐brain signalling prevents hyperphagia and excessive weight gain in response to high‐fat high‐sugar diet. Acta Physiologica, 231(3), e13530.
Lee, S. J., Krieger, J. P., Vergara, M., Quinn, D., McDougle, M., de Araujo, A., … & de Lartigue, G. (2020). Blunted vagal cocaine-and amphetamine-regulated transcript promotes hyperphagia and weight gain. Cell reports, 30(6), 2028-2039.
Han, W., Tellez, L. A., Perkins, M. H., Perez, I. O., Qu, T., Ferreira, J., … de Lartigue, G. & de Araujo, I. E. (2018). A neural circuit for gut-induced reward. Cell, 175(3), 665-678.
Suarez, A.N., Hsu, T.M., Liu, C.M., Noble, E.E., Cortella, A.M., Nakamoto, E.M., Hahn, J.D., de Lartigue, G. and Kanoski, S.E. (2018). Gut vagal sensory signaling regulates hippocampus function through multi-order pathways. Nature communications, 9(1), 1-15.