Dr Perry Barrett

Dr_Perry _Barrett

Dr Perry Barrett

Molecular mechanisms in body weight regulation

Reducing food intake to achieve weight loss or maintain a healthy weight is the objective many people.  One route to achieving a reduction in food intake is to increase the satiety value (feeling of fullness) of the food we eat. My research is investigating the interaction of protein, carbohydrate and fats on release of gut hormones involved in signalling satiety to the brain with a view to formulating food products with an increased satiety value.
The research we are doing will help in the formulation of food products to control food intake

Food intake and growth are areas of research interest being undertaken in my laboratory. Food intake research is in the context of obesity and relevant to health. The aim is to further understand the mechanisms which induce satiety (feeling of being full) as a meal is eaten. In particular we are investigating how nutrients in the food we eat engage sensory mechanisms in the gut to relay a signal to the brain that enough food has been consumed and thereby to stop further food intake. This research is working towards a level of understanding whereby it may be possible to reformulate food to induce satiety at with less calories of food consumed. Such an approach may provide a solution to reducing the rising tide of global human obesity.

Seasonal regulation of food intake together with growth (which encompasses body weight regulation in general) are areas of research we undertake in the context of understanding how physiology adapts to an environment where photoperiod varies by a considerable length over the course of a year. The research aims to understand neuronal and hormonal mechanisms that regulate mammalian seasonal physiological adaptions, which can involve changes in body weight encompassing both lean and fat tissue. The aim is to provide further insight into physiological process that are important in human health and disease.

Research team

Nikki Cassie - PhD student (funded by Full4Health)

  • 2014-2017 BBSRC
  • EU Full4Heath 2011-2016
  • Eli Lilly 2011-2013

Herwig A, Campbell G, Mayer CD, Boelen A, Anderson RA, Ross AW, Mercer JG, Barrett P. A thyroid hormone challenge in hypothyroid rats identifies t3 regulated genes in the hypothalamus and in models with altered energy balance and glucose homeostasis.Thyroid. 2014 Nov;24(11):1575-93. doi: 10.1089/thy.2014.0169. Epub 2014 Sep 2. PMID:25087834 [PubMed - in process] Related citations Select item 246353512.

de Vries EM, Kwakkel J, Eggels L, Kalsbeek A, Barrett P, Fliers E, Boelen A. NFκB signaling is essential for the lipopolysaccharide-induced increase of type 2 deiodinase in tanycytes. Endocrinology. 2014 May;155(5):2000-8. doi: 10.1210/en.2013-2018. Epub 2014 Mar 17. PMID:24635351 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Related citations Select item 246038713.

Petri I, Dumbell R, Scherbarth F, Steinlechner S, Barrett P. Effect of exercise on photoperiod-regulated hypothalamic gene expression and peripheral hormones in the seasonal Dwarf Hamster Phodopus sungorus.
PLoS One. 2014 Mar 6;9(3):e90253. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090253.

Herwig, A., de Vries, E. M., Bolborea, M., Wilson, D., Mercer, J.G., Ebling, F.J.P.., Morgan, P.J., Barrett, P. (2013)  “Hypothalamic Ventricular Ependymal Thyroid Hormone Deiodinases Are an Important Element of Circannual Timing in the Siberian Hamster (Phodopus sungorus).” PLoS One, 8 (4 Art e62003)

Murphy, M., Samms, R., Warner, A., Bolborea, M., Barrett, P., Fowler, M.J., Brameld, J.M., Tsintzas, K., Kharitonenkov, A., Adams, A.C., Coskun, T., Ebling, F.J.P. (2013)  “Increased responses to the actions of fibroblast growth factor 21 on energy balance and body weight in a seasonal model of adiposity” Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 25 (2)  pp. 180-189

Helwig, M., Herwig, A., Heldmaier, G., Barrett, P., Mercer, J.G., Klingenspor, M. (2013) “Photoperiod-dependent regulation of Carboxypeptidase E affects the selective processing of neuropeptides in the seasonal Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus).” Journal of Neuroendocrinology,  25(2) pp. 190-197

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