Witold Konopka, PhD, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw

event date: 17 January 2020

The Centre of New Technologies invites to a seminar by

Witold Konopka, PhD

Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Warsaw

TitlemicroRNA dependent regulation of neuronal plasticity in feeding behavior

Date: January 17th, 2020 at 12 p.m.

Venue: Centre of New Technologies, Banacha 2C,
Lecture Hall 0142 (Ground floor)

Host: prof. Marta B. Wiśniewska

Eating behavior of animals is controlled by neuronal circuits in the brain, mainly located within the hypothalamus. Hunger is induced by physiological signals e.g. leptin, informing the brain about energy storages in adipose tissue or glucose deficits during hypoglycemia. Additionally, other non-physiological factors may influence when and what do we eat. Those factors include sensory cues of especially palatable food or are entrained by circadian rhythm. Regulation of activity of neurons involved in the control  of feeding and metabolism is achieved on many levels of gene expression. We are especially interested in post-transcriptional level of protein translation regulated by microRNAs. These short RNAs serve as a guides for the translation inhibiting complex RISC. We have generated transgenic mice with a mutation of the Dicer gene restricted to forebrain neurons of adult mice. The Dicer nuclease is an essential enzyme in the biogenesis of microRNAs. Mice lacking the Dicer gene in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus developed an obesity phenotype due to increased feeding of regular chow diet. We have also examined how different diets: standard, high fat diet, Western diet and ketogenic diet influence microRNA levels in the blood and preference of mice towards consumed diet.