Control of eating behavior

Team leaders :

Gaëlle Boudry & David Val-Laillet

Overweight and obesity are often the result of altered eating behavior, in one or several of its dimensions, which contributes to an excess of energy intake over energy expenditure. Food intake regulation and control include dynamic processes triggered by external and internal stimuli. However, regulation of food intake is steadily challenged and sometimes overridden by the omnipresence of food and food-related cues, especially palatable and high-energy-dense food. This can lead to food intake in the absence of hunger or to continuation of food intake beyond satiation. In some cases, frequent exposure to palatable foods can also lead to hyperphagia phenomena and food cravings (i.e. an intense desire to consume a specific food, which is different from normal hunger) for these foods, or even food addiction. Negative emotions or chronic psychosocial stress management problems can also favor the onset of food or alcohol abuse as compensatory mechanisms. Thus, consumption of high-energy-dense and unbalanced diets leads to a continuum of abnormal eating behaviors, ranging from altered regulation of food intake to non-homeostatic food intake and even food addiction, all of them possibly contributing to excess weight gain, obesity and related comorbidities.

The objectives of the ‘Control of eating behaviors’ team (EAT) are in animal models and humans 1- to unravel some of the relationships between Western-type diet consumption and the development of eating behavior abnormalities or pathologies, and 2- to validate innovative interventions aimed at preventing or correcting altered eating behaviors.

We defined two thematic axis in which these two specific objectives will be achieved.

Theme 1: Modulation of food intake regulation by the microbiota-gut-brain-axis

The influence of gut microbiota on eating behavior has been postulated by several groups. Likewise, we evidenced a role of the gut microbiota in the alteration of food intake regulation or the occurrence of non-homeostatic food intake (‘snacking-type’ eating behavior). Many data, including ours, demonstrated that Western-type diet consumption has a strong impact on intestinal microbiota composition and metabolites. Diet-induced dysbiosis could thus trigger disturbances of specific gut functions (endocrine and barrier function) involved in the regulation of food intake. Moreover, gut microbiota establishes early in life and is influenced by environmental factors, including diet. We observed immediate and long-term consequences of perinatal nutrition on gut microbiota composition and metabolome, associated with modifications in gut functions. Parallel to gut colonization, brain structures, including those involved in the regulation of food intake, mature post-natally and could be influenced by the colonizing microbiota.

In this context, our specific aims are: a) to disentangle the impact of diet-induced gut dysbiosis on specific intestinal signals involved in the regulation of food intake, and b) to document the impact of early gut colonization on the establishment of food intake regulation mechanisms and the role of perinatal nutrition on its modulation.

Theme 2: Modulation of food pleasure and motivation via cortico-striatal interactions

Complex neurocognitive processes occur to interpret and attribute metabolic/hedonic values to food signals, associate them with the internal and emotional status, and eventually take decisions to select and consume food items or beverages. The prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortexes play fundamental roles in hedonic valuation, decision-making, and goal-oriented behavior. They are tightly interconnected with the striatum so that food hedonic and motivational dimensions can influence food choices and decisions. The dynamic vulnerability model of obesity suggests that chronic consumption of palatable foods is at the origin of a shift in the hedonic and cognitive neurobehavioral processes controlling food intake depending on altered interactions between the frontostriatal and corticolimbic circuits.

In this context, our specific aims are therefore based on minipig model and human clinical studies/trials: a) to understand how these neurocognitive processes are modulated by the nutritional environment in interaction with emotions, stress and psychological/addictive profiles and which interactions exist between the different neural networks involved in the control of food intake, and b) to test and validate innovative strategies targeting the cortico-striatal loop as well as their behavioral and cognitive functions to restore normal food intake control.

Recent publications:

  1. Arnaud A.P., Rome V., Richard M., Formal M., David-Le Gall S., Boudry G. (2020). Post-natal co-development of the microbiota and gut barrier function follows different paths in the small and large intestine in piglets. Faseb Journal, vol 34, n°1, 1430-1446 p. DOI: Réf. HAL: hal-02442531
  2. Constant A., Boulic G., Lommez A., Chaillou R., Guy-Grand B., Raffin S. (2020) Locally implemented prevention programs may reverse weight trajectories in half of children with overweight/obesity amid low child-staff ratios: results from a quasi-experimental study in France BMC Public Health, vol 20, 941 p., DOI: https://10.1186/s12889-020-09080-y
  3. Menneson S., Ménicot S., Malbert C.-H., Meurice P., Serrand Y., Noirot V., Etienne P., Coquery N., Val-Laillet D. (2020). Neuromodulatory and possible anxiolytic-like effects of a spice functional food ingredient in a pig model of psychosocial chronic stress. Journal of Functional Foods, vol 64, 103599 p. DOI: Réf. HAL: hal-02443757
  4. Barreault S., Bellanger A., Berneau P., de La Pintière A., Lallemant C., Beuchée A. (2019) Impact of early protein and energy intakes on neurodevelopment at 2 years of corrected age in very low birth weight infants: A single-center observational study. PLoS One, vol 14, n°6, e0218887 p., DOI: https://10.1371/journal.pone.0218887
  5. Coquery N., Adam J.-F., Nemoz C., Janvier R., Livingstone J., Chauvin A., Guerineau C., De Saint Jean L., Kefs S., Ocadiz A., Bouchet A., Bartzsch S., Schültke E., Siegbahn A., Bräuer-Krisch E., Lemasson B., Luc Barbier E., Laissue J., Balosso J., Val-Laillet D., Serduc R. (2019). Locomotion and eating behavior changes in Yucatan minipigs after unilateral radio-induced ablation of the caudate nucleus. Scientific Reports, vol 9, n°1, 17082 p.. DOI: Réf. HAL: hal-02376578
  6. Coquery N., Menneson S., Meurice P., Janvier R., Etienne P., Noirot V., Val-Laillet D. (2019). fMRI-Based Brain Responses to Olfactory Stimulation with Two Putatively Orexigenic Functional Food Ingredients at Two Different Concentrations in the Pig Model. Journal of Food Science, vol 84, n°9, 2666-2673 p.. DOI: Réf. HAL: hal-02281404
  7. Gautier Y., Meurice P., Coquery N., Constant A., Bannier E., Serrand Y., Ferré J.-C., Moirand R., Val-Laillet D. (2019). Implementation of a New Food Picture Database in the Context of fMRI and Visual Cognitive Food-Choice Task in Healthy Volunteers. Frontiers in Psychology, vol 10, 2660 p.. DOI: Réf. HAL: inserm-02389926
  8. Guerville M., Hamilton M. K., Ronveaux C. C., Ellero-Simatos S., Raybould H. E., Boudry G. (2019). Chronic refined low-fat diet consumption reduces cholecystokinin satiation in rats. European Journal of Nutrition, vol 58, n°6, 2497-2510 p.. DOI: Réf. HAL: hal-01862581
  9. Le Bourgot C., Ferret-Bernard S., Apper E., Taminiau B., Cahu A., Le Normand L., Respondek F., Le Huërou-Luron I., Blat S. (2019). Perinatal short-chain fructooligosaccharides program intestinal microbiota and improve enteroinsular axis function and inflammatory status in high-fat diet-fed adult pigs. FASEB Journal, vol 33, n°1, 301-313 p.. DOI: Réf. HAL: hal-01834089
  10. Menneson S., Ménicot S., Ferret-Bernard S., Guerin S., Rome V., Le Normand L., Randuineau G., Gambarota G., Noirot V., Etienne P., Coquery N., Val-Laillet D. (2019). Validation of a psychosocial chronic stress model in the pig using a multidisciplinary approach at the gut-brain and behavior levels. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol 13, 161 p.. DOI: Réf. HAL: hal-02263855
  11. Constant A., Gautier Y., Coquery N., Thibault R., Moirand R., Val-Laillet D. (2018). Emotional overeating is common and negatively associated with alcohol use in normal-weight female university students. Appetite, vol 129, 186-191 p.. DOI: Réf. HAL: hal-01856971

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