Metabolic mystery: Aging, obesity, diabetes, and the ventromedial hypothalamus

Charles V. Mobbs, Cesar L. Moreno, Michael Poplawski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We propose that energy balance, glucose homeostasis, and aging are all regulated largely by the same nutrient-sensing neurons in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). Although the central role of these neurons in regulating energy balance is clear, their role in regulating glucose homeostasis has only recently become more clear. This latter function may be most relevant to aging and lifespan by controlling the rate of glucose metabolism. Specifically, glucose-sensing neurons in VMH promote peripheral glucose metabolism, and dietary restriction, by reducing glucose metabolism in these neurons, reduces glucose metabolism of the rest of the body, thereby increasing lifespan. Here we discuss recent studies demonstrating the key role of hypothalamic neurons in driving aging and age-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-494
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Dietary restriction
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Lifespan


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