Tamas L. Horvath DVM, PhD

Jean and David W. Wallace Professor of Comparative Medicine and Professor of Neurobiology and of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences; Chair, Section of Comparative Medicine; Director, Yale Program in Integrative Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism

Research Interests

Neurobiology of obesity; Neuroendocrine physiology


Research Summary

My main interest is the neuroendocrine regulation of homeostasis with particular emphasis on metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes, and the effect of metabolic signals on higher brain functions and neurodegeneration. We have active research programs to pursue the role of synaptic plasticity in the mediation of peripheral hormones’ effects on the central nervous system.

We also study the role of mitochondrial membrane potential in normal and pathological brain functions with particular emphasis on the acute effect of mitochondria in neuronal transmission and neuroprotection. We combine classical neurobiological approaches, including electrophysiology and neuroanatomy, with endocrine and genetic techniques to better understand biological events at the level of the organism.

Extensive Research Description

My main interest is the neuroendocrine regulation of homeostasis with particular emphasis on metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes, and the effect of metabolic signals on higher brain functions and neurodegeneration. We have active research programs to pursue the role of synaptic plasticity in the mediation of peripheral hormones’ effects on the central nervous system.

We also study the role of mitochondrial membrane potential in normal and pathological brain functions with particular emphasis on the acute effect of mitochondria in neuronal transmission and neuroprotection. We combine classical neurobiological approaches, including electrophysiology and neuroanatomy, with endocrine and genetic techniques to better understand biological events at the level of the organism.


Selected Publications

  • Diano S, Liu Z-W, Jeong JK, Dietrich MO, Ruan H-B, Kim E, Suyama S, Kelly K, Gyengesi E, Arbiser JL, Belsham DD, Sarruf DA, Schwartz MW, Bennett AM, Shanabrough M, Mobbs CV, Yang X, Gao X-B, Horvath TL (2011) Peroxisome proliferation–associated control of reactive oxygen species sets melanocortin tone and feeding in diet-induced obesity. Nature Medicine 17: 1121-7.
  • Dietrich MO, Bober J, Ferreira JG, Souza DO, Tellez LA, Mineur Y, Araújo I, Picciotto M, Gao X-B, Liu Z-W, Horvath TL 2012 AgRP neurons regulate the development of dopamine neuronal plasticity and non food-associated behaviors. Nature Neuroscience 15: 11080-1110.
  • Matarese G, Procaccini C, Menale C, Kim JG, Diano S, Diano N, De Rosa V, Dietrich MO, Horvath TL 2013 Hunger-promoting hypothalamic neurons modulate effector and regulatory T-cell responses. PNAS 110(15):6193-8.
  • Dietrich MO, Liu Z-W, Horvath TL (2013) Mitochondrial dynamics controlled by mitofusins regulate Agrp neuronal activity and diet-induced obesity. Cell 155: 188-199.
  • Vogt MC, Paeger L, Hess S, Steculorum SM, Awazawa M, Hampel B, Neupert S, Nicholls HT, Mauer J, Hausen AC, Predel R, Kloppenburg P, Horvath TL, Brüning JC (2014) Neonatal insulin action impairs hypothalamic neurocircuit formation in response to maternal high fat feeding. Cell. 156:495-509.

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