Effects of hunger, satiety and oral glucose on effective connectivity between hypothalamus and insular cortex

Arkan Al-Zubaidi, Sandra Iglesias, Klaas E. Stephan, Macià Buades-Rotger, Marcus Heldmann, Janis Marc Nolde, Henriette Kirchner, Alfred Mertins, Kamila Jauch-Chara, Thomas F. Münte*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit


The hypothalamus and insular cortex play an essential role in the integration of endocrine and homeostatic signals and their impact on food intake. Resting-state functional connectivity alterations of the hypothalamus, posterior insula (PINS) and anterior insula (AINS) are modulated by metabolic states and caloric intake. Nevertheless, a deeper understanding of how these factors affect the strength of connectivity between hypothalamus, PINS and AINS is missing. This study investigated whether effective (directed) connectivity within this network varies as a function of prandial states (hunger vs. satiety) and energy availability (glucose levels and/or hormonal modulation). To address this question, we measured twenty healthy male participants of normal weight twice: once after 36 ​h of fasting (except water consumption) and once under satiated conditions. During each session, resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) and hormone concentrations were recorded before and after glucose administration. Spectral dynamic causal modeling (spDCM) was used to assess the effective connectivity between the hypothalamus and anterior and posterior insula. Using Bayesian model selection, we observed that the same model was identified as the most likely model for each rs-fMRI recording. Compared to satiety, the hunger condition enhanced the strength of the forward connections from PINS to AINS and reduced the strength of backward connections from AINS to PINS. Furthermore, the strength of connectivity from PINS to AINS was positively related to plasma cortisol levels in the hunger condition, mainly before glucose administration. However, there was no direct relationship between glucose treatment and effective connectivity. Our findings suggest that prandial states modulate connectivity between PINS and AINS and relate to theories of interoception and homeostatic regulation that invoke hierarchical relations between posterior and anterior insula.

PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 15.08.2020

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


Untersuchen Sie die Forschungsthemen von „Effects of hunger, satiety and oral glucose on effective connectivity between hypothalamus and insular cortex“. Zusammen bilden sie einen einzigartigen Fingerprint.