Vagal afferents are a vital link between the peripheral tissue and central nervous system (CNS). There is an abundance of vagal afferents present within the proximal gastrointestinal tract which are responsible for monitoring and controlling gastrointestinal function. Whilst essential for maintaining homeostasis there is a vast amount of literature emerging which describes remarkable plasticity of vagal afferents in response to endogenous as well as exogenous stimuli. This plasticity for the most part is vital in maintaining healthy processes; however, there are increased reports of vagal plasticity being disrupted in pathological states, such as obesity. Many of the disruptions, observed in obesity, have the potential to reduce vagal afferent satiety signalling which could ultimately perpetuate the obese state. Understanding how plasticity occurs within vagal afferents will open a whole new understanding of gut function as well as identify new treatment options for obesity.
- Vagal afferents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience