When mice lose weight, brain signals that drive hunger increase, making them consume more until they reach their starting weight.
Researchers found a mouse brain mechanism that may explain weight regain. After dieting, these pathway-targeted therapies may help maintain weight.
Weight loss programs fail about half of obese persons after five years. This weight gain may be caused by hypothalamic AgRP neurons, which regulate hunger.
Brad Lowell of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Massachusetts says they are activated when a body is low on fuel and produce extreme hunger.
Synapses connect AgRP neurons to many brain areas. The stronger the link, the louder the signal.