Body Weight and Reproduction

The CNE has a strong emphasis on understanding the neuroendocrine control of body weight and blood glucose levels, and on understanding the developmental origins of diseases associated with obesity and diabetes during pregnancy.

State of the art techniques such as metabolic phenotyping, gene therapy and generation of conditional transgenic animals are utilised to address the current research questions:

Reproduction Theme 1 Picture

Neuroendocrine regulation of body weight

  • What is the cause and consequences of leptin resistance?

Greg Anderson

  • What is the role of brain inflammation in obesity?
  • Why is food intake increased during pregnancy?

Alex Tups      

Brown Theme Picture

Neuroendocrine regulation of blood glucose levels

  • How does the brain control blood glucose levels?
  • Do leptin and insulin work together to regulate blood glucose levels?
  • What causes gestational diabetes?

Dave Grattan

Grattan Theme Image

Developmental origins of disease

  • Why do the offspring of obese mothers have increased risk for obesity and the metabolic syndrome, as well as a spectrum of neurodevelopmental abnormalities, including autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities?
  • How does gestation in an obese mother change the way that the offspring brain develops, to predispose offspring to neurodevelopmental abnormalities?
  • What is the role of epigenetic changes in gene regulation to the disrupted development and later life brain function in individuals who developed in an obese mother?

Christine Jasoni

Reproduction Theme Nerve Image
Centre for Neuroendocrinology Centre for Neuroendocrinology University of Otago