People considering obesity treatment might be interested to learn that a link between insulin and the reward circuitry of the brain has been identified.
The discovery could offer some hope for potential obesity treatment in the future by helping doctors to understand why people who are obese find it hard to stop eating.
Conducted by a team from the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research, the study found that mice whose reward centres no longer respond to insulin tend to eat more and become obese.
Jens Bruning, who worked on the report, commented: "Collectively, our study reveals a critical role for insulin action in catecholaminergic neurons in long-term control of feeding.
"The further elucidation of the exact neuronal subpopulation(s) and cellular mechanisms responsible for this effect may thus define potential targets for the treatment of obesity."
Key neurons of the midbrain that release dopamine were the focus of the researchers and the team discovered that the mice became fatter when insulin signalling in these neurons was inactive.