Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Lu Xu (Donders Series 68)

December 12, 2011.

Promotor: Prof.dr. E. Roubos

The non-preganglionic Edinger-Westphal nucleus: an integration center for energy balance and stress adaptation

The aim of this thesis research was to test our hypothesis that the non-preganglionic Edinger-Westphal nucleus (npEW) serves as an integrating center linking energy metabolism with stress adaptation. We have shown indeed that the npEW receives information about stress stimuli and the peripheral metabolic state. Moreover, it appears that not only the npEW as a whole responds to this information by changing its activity, but also that this reaction is a result of the differential reactions of the various neuropeptides expressed in this nucleus. Our results extend knowledge of the energy-dependent regulation of the stress adaptation response and, hopefully, will contribute to broadening insight into the etiology of stress-induced anxiety, depression and eating disorders, as well as may stimulate research to identify novel treatments to combat these disorders. In this respect, future studies on the mechanisms by which energy balance and leptin participate in the regulation of the npEW-Ucn1/CART system will be of particular interest.