Our research focuses on the neural control of energy and glucose homeostasis and the role of specialized metabolic sensing neurons that integrate metabolic, hormonal and neural signals from the periphery in these processes. We work with rodent models of diet-induced obesity and diabetes and assess the ways in which underlying genotype interacts with the environment to alter neural structure and function. A primary focus is on the perinatal and prepubertal stages of life during which neural development can be influenced by metabolic, hormonal, physiological, behavioral and epigenetic factors to produce long term changes in neural structure and function. This work entails various combinations of in vivo physiological, neural, metabolic and molecular manipulations, as well as in vitro assessment of factors that influence the activity of metabolic sensing neurons such as glucose, fatty acids, leptin and insulin.
UMDNJ Faculty page - http://njms.umdnj.edu/resource_locator/find_people/profile.cfm?mbmid=levin
- Dunn-Meynell AA, Sanders NM, Compton D, Becker TC, Eiki J, Zhang BB, and Levin BE. Relationship among brain and blood glucose levels and spontaneous and glucoprivic feeding. J Neurosci 29: 7015-7022, 2009.
- Kang L, Dunn-Meynell AA, Routh VH, Gaspers LD, Nagata Y, Nishimura T, Eiki J, Zhang BB, and Levin BE. Glucokinase is a critical regulator of ventromedial hypothalamic neuronal glucosensing. Diabetes 55: 412-420, 2006.
- Le Foll C, Irani BG, Magnan C, Dunn-Meynell AA, and Levin BE. Characteristics and mechanisms of hypothalamic neuronal fatty acid sensing. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 297: R655-664, 2009.
- Levin BE. Synergy of nature and nurture in the development of childhood obesity. Int J Obes (Lond) 33 Suppl 1: S53-56, 2009.
- Levin BE, Becker TC, Eiki J, Zhang BB, and Dunn-Meynell AA. Ventromedial hypothalamic glucokinase is an important mediator of the counterregulatory response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia. Diabetes 57: 1371-1379, 2008.
- Patterson CM, Bouret SG, Dunn-Meynell AA, and Levin BE. Three weeks of postweaning exercise in DIO rats produces prolonged increases in central leptin sensitivity and signaling. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 296: R537-548, 2009.
- Patterson CM, Dunn-Meynell AA, and Levin BE. Three weeks of early-onset exercise prolongs obesity resistance in DIO rats after exercise cessation. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 294: R290-301, 2008.