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Seminar – Stéphanie Fulton

Friday 19 July 2019 / 11:30

Lipid Mediators of Mood and Motivation

Venue: Centre Broca Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Stephanie Fulton

Associate professor, Université de Montréal
Centre de Recherche du CHUM

Stephanie Fulton is in sabbatical at NutriNeuro in July and August 2019


The neural circuitry controlling motivation and emotion exerts a powerful influence on behaviour and is strongly influenced by the metabolic state of the organism. Metabolic hormones robustly modulate these circuits, however increasing evidence suggests that dietary fatty acids can also have an impact. Lipids can act centrally as signalling molecules, sources of cellular energy and incorporated as structural components of neural cells. Results will be presented showing that lipids can modulate brain reward circuitry via actions to affect fatty acid uptake, neuronal activity and neuroimmune responses. First, results showing the direct effects of fatty acids on the mesolimbic dopamine system will be discussed. Multiple levels of analysis show that dopamine neurons are capable of incorporating and storing lipids and can modulate their activity in response to monounsaturated fatty acids. Second, the impact of saturated fat diets on metabolic dysfunction, neuroimmunity, motivation and mood will be discussed. Recent findings will be presented describing the striatal outputs underlying the impact of lipid overload on anhedonia and behavioral despair. Finally, new data will be presented on the behavioral, neurolipid and neuroprotective actions of omega-3 fatty acids and the contribution of GPR120, a g-protein coupled receptor activated by omega-3 fatty acids.


Fulton, S & Alquier, T. (2019) Lipid signalling in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway. Neuropsychopharmacology. doi: 10.1038/s41386-018-0188-4

Hryhorczuk, C., Sheng, Z., Décarie-Spain, L. Giguère, N., Bourque, M., Trudeau, L-E., Routh, V. Alquier, T., Fulton, S. (2017) Oleic acid in the ventral tegmental area inhibits feeding, food reward and dopamine tone. Neuropsychopharmacology, Feb;43(3):607-616. doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.203.

Décarie-Spain L., Sharma S., Hryhorczuk C., Garcia VI, Barker, PA., Arbour, N., Alquier, T., Fulton, S. (2018) Nucleus accumbens inflammation mediates anxiodepressive behavior and compulsive sucrose seeking elicited by saturated dietary fat. Molecular Metabolism, S2212-8778(17)30938-9. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2018.01.018.

Décarie-Spain, L., Hryhorczuk, C., Fulton, S. (2016) Dopamine signalling adaptations by prolonged high-fat feeding. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 9, 135-143

Auguste, S., Fisette, A., Fernandes, MF., Poitout, V., Alquier, T., Fulton, S. (2016) Central agonism of GPR120 acutely inhibits food intake and food reward and chronically suppresses anxiety-like behaviour in mice. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyw014

Hryhorczuk, C., Florea,M., Rodaros, D., Poirier, I., Daneault, DesRosiers,C., Arvanitogiannis,A., Alquier,T., Fulton, S. (2016) Dampened mesolimbic dopamine function and signalling by saturated but not monounsaturated dietary lipids. Neuropsychopharmacology, Feb;41(3):811-21.

Fernandes, M., Matthys, D., Hryhorczuk, C., Sharma, S., Mogra, S., Alquier,T., Fulton, S. (2015) Leptin supresses the rewarding effects of running via STAT3 signaling in dopamine neurons. Cell Metabolism, 22(4):741-9


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Friday 19 July 2019
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