Central integration of peripheral appetite-regulating signals ensures maintenance of energy homeostasis. Thus, plasticity of circulating molecule access to neuronal circuits involved in feeding behavior plays a key role in the adaptive response to metabolic changes. However, the mechanisms involved remain poorly understood despite their relevance for therapeutic development. Here, we investigated the role of median eminence mural cells, including smooth muscle cells and pericytes, in modulating gut hormone effects on orexigenic/anorexigenic circuits. We found that conditional activation of median eminence vascular cells impinged on local blood flow velocity and altered ghrelin-stimulated food intake by delaying ghrelin access to target neurons. Thus, activation of median eminence vascular cells modulates food intake in response to peripheral ghrelin by reducing local blood flow velocity and access to the metabolic brain.
Nicola Romanò, Chrystel Lafont, Pauline Campos, Anne Guillou, Tatiana Fiordelisio, David J. Hodson, Patrice Mollard, Marie Schaeffer