Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research

Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research

The human brain analyses nutrient-related and hormonal signals of the body periphery and controls by hunger and saturation induction the energy homeostasis. This central nervous control is complex and until now not fully understood. Research at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research (formerly: Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research) is dedicated to deciphering these most intricate neuro-circuits. The researchers use multimodal and molecular imaging to describe intact but also abnormal metabolic regulation. Once neuronal signaling pathways of the metabolism are completely understood both in healthy people and patients, new molecular therapies for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity may be developed in the long run.

Contact

Gleueler Str. 50
50931 Cologne
Phone: +49 221 4726-0
Fax: +49 221 4726-298

PhD opportunities

This institute has an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS):

IMPRS on Ageing

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

The 2018 Zülch Prize

The 2018 Zülch Prize

September 17, 2018

Jerome Posner, Angela Vincent and Josep Dalmau have uncovered new diseases and have improved outcomes for neurological deficits

more
Loving the sweet enemy

Foods rich in fats and carbohydrates stimulate the reward system in the brain particularly strongly

more

Obesity alters a subpopulation of immune cells, thereby increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes

more
Zülch Prize 2016: Forms of cancer in the cerebellum

Award-winning researchers improve the diagnosis of different brain tumours in children and boost treatment success as a result

more
High-fat diet starves the brain

Fat decreases glucose levels in the mouse brain

more
No articles in MaxPlanckResearch found.
No job offers available

Coordination of food intake, locomotion and sleep by the lateral hypothalamus

2018 Korotkova, Tatiana

Immunobiology Infection Biology Medicine Neurosciences

Coordination of food intake, locomotion and sleep is crucial for survival, its impairment is a symptom of multiple sleep and eating disorders. We found that optogenetic activation of GABA cells in the lateral hypothalamus leads to awakening from non-REM sleep and increases food intake. Further we characterized the neuronal circuit, which connects the prefrontal cortex and the lateral hypothalamus and utilizes gamma oscillations to organize function-selective firing of neurons and to promote food-seeking.

more

Genetic predisposition for obesity influences learning behaviour

2017 Tittgemeyer, Marc; Brüning, Jens

Neurosciences

Variations in the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene are associated with obesity. The same variants of FTO affect dopamine-dependent midbrain responses and learning from negative outcomes in humans. They furthermore modulate the connectivity in a basic reward circuit of meso-striato-prefrontal regions and facilitate neural responses elicited by food cues. These findings provide evidence for FTO-specific differences in both brain structure and function in individuals, thereby contributing to a mechanistic understanding of why FTO is a predisposing factor for obesity.

more

Regulatory mechanisms of neuronal glucose uptake

2016 Jais, Alexander; Brüning, Jens C.

Medicine Neurosciences

This study demonstrates the complex regulatory mechanisms for the maintenance of physiological glucose transport and identifies vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as critical regulator of glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier. These experiments reveal that transient, high-fat diet-elicited reduction of brain glucose uptake initiates a compensatory increase of VEGF-production and assign obesity-associated macrophage activation a homeostatic role to restore cerebral glucose metabolism, preserve cognitive function and limit neurodegeneration in obesity.

more

Metabolic disorders: Nutrition during pregnancy affects offspring

2015 Hausen, Anne Christine; Brüning, Jens C.

Genetics Medicine Neurosciences

Obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and associated dieseases are on a constant rise and not only reduce quality of life but also are putting a burden on our society. Large efforts have been put into a better understanding of the homeostatic control mechanisms involved in regulation of body weight and energy homeostasis. It is known that maternal obesity, diabetes and hyperglycemia during pregnancy results in an increased risk for the offspring to develop obesity and diabetes later in life.  By performing studies in mice, scientists can gain insights into the underlying complex mechanisms. 

more

Genetic predisposition for overweight: Possible interactions of genome and environment

2014 Heß, Martin; Brüning, Jens C.

Genetics Neurosciences

The increase in the prevalence of obesity and the concomitant health problems are putting a burden on our modern society. Lifestyle and genetic predisposition define the individual susceptibility to gain weight. Through identifying the genetic alterations and the subsequent investigation of the affected genes/proteins – including studies in mice – scientists hope to gain insights into the complex interaction of our genome and environment to finally identify the mechanisms that may lead e.g. to weight gain.

more
Go to Editor View