Associative learning of food cues that link location in space to food availability guides feeding behavior in mammals. However, the function of specific neurons that are elements of the higher-order, cognitive circuitry controlling feeding behavior is largely unexplored.
Here, we report that hippocampal dopamine 2 receptor (hD2R) neurons are specifically activated by food and that both acute and chronic modulation of their activity reduces foodintake in mice. Upstream projections from the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) to the hippocampus activate hD2R cells and can also decrease foodintake. Finally, activation of hD2R neurons interferes with the encoding of a spatial memory linking food to a specific location via projections from the hippocampus to the septal area.
Altogether these data describe a previously unidentified LEC > hippocampus > septal higher-order circuit that regulates feeding behavior.
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