The vagus nerve contains both afferent and efferent fibers to bidirectionally communicate information between the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the central nervous system (CNS). It has emerged as a potential therapeutic target to treat obesity and other intestinal diseases. The neuropeptide cocaine-and amphetamine regulated-transcript (CART) is a subpopulation of vagal neurons that innervate the whole length of the gut and convey information of meal-borne signals to the brain. Targeting CART expressing neurons in transgenic mice with viral tools is a great approach to explore the neural circuits that are recruited by the vagus nerve in response to meal-borne signals.
The project’s goal is to investigate the central pathways and functional outcomes in response to tissue specific stimulation at the level of the duodenum.