University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Minnesota Obesity Center

1996 Grant Awards

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and Obesity in Mice.

James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D.
Endocrine Research Unit
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Specific Aim: To determine whether changes in NEAT and non-exercise activity (NEA) predict susceptibility to weight gain in mice fed a high fat diet.

Hypothesis: Over-feeding mice results in changes in NEAT and NEA that predict within-strain susceptibility to fat gain.

Overview: If activation of NEAT represents a potent thermogenic mechanism in mammals, the result we obtained in human studies should occur in animals. Data obtained by other investigators demonstrate that changes in activity predict susceptibility to fat gain in mice and that this effect may be genetically influenced because different murine strains show consistently different changes in activity with over-feeding. We propose to allow mice from two strains (one susceptible and the other resistant to obesity) and obligate heterozygotes of these strains to over-feed on a high fat diet and to measure changes in NEAT and NEA that accompany over-feeding. A positive result will not only enable us to confirm our findings from the human studies but will provide a model that can be applied to determine the mechanism by which NEAT is activated with overfeeding.


PET Studies of Human Hunger and Satiety.

Jose' V. Pardo, M.D., Ph.D.
Psychiatry PET Unit
VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN

The neural correlates of two basic mechanisms, hunger and thirst, remain undefined. This study will measure cerebral activity in normal humans through measurement of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with positron emission tomography (PET). This proposal focuses upon the cortical anatomy of processing hunger/satiety information. Paired intrasubject scans during controlled conditions will isolate the cortical responses to hunger/satiety processing.

The specific aims are:

  1. to measure rCBF responses to olfactory, visual, and self-generated cues of aversive, neutral, and hedonic foods, and

  2. to measure rCBF during the above cues in subjects that are fed vs. fasted. These studies are a necessary preamble for future probes of affective responses in patients with eating disorders.

Recipients of:

2010 Grant Awards
2008 Grant Awards
2006 Grant Awards
2004 Grant Awards
2003 Grant Awards
2002 Grant Awards
2001 Grant Awards
2000 Grant Awards
1999 Grant Awards
1998 Grant Awards
1997 Grant Awards
1996 Grant Awards
1995 Grant Awards


Call for Proposals

Pilot & Feasibility Program Grant Awards

Advancements in Obesity Research

Other Pilot & Feasibility Program Projects

Pilot & Feasibility Program Supplements