Daniela Cota

HDR : Rôle du Système Endocannabinoïde et de la Voie mTOR dans la Balance Energétique /Role of the endocannabinoid system and of the mTOR pathway in energy balance

Le 3 décembre 2015

Since 2001, my research activity has principally focused on the regulation of food intake and body weight. While the time spent at the Max Planck Institute in Munich (2001-2003) really represented my first exposure to basic science, my studies from that period were the first to clearly detail the critical role of the cannabinoid receptor type 1(CB1) in the control of energy balance.

Since then, CB1 is a recognized potential therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity and other metabolic disorders and the knowledge about the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the physiopathology of energy balance regulation has been considerably expanded. After moving to Cincinnati in 2004, rather than simply continue working on the ECS, I directed my research towards cellular fuel sensing pathways that within the hypothalamus might regulate food intake and body weight.

In particular, my work has focused on the atypical kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and on the function of the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling in energy balance. mTOR has received enormous scientific attention as a cellular fuel sensor known to be able to regulate protein synthesis in cells and I demonstrated that the mTORC1 signaling localized in specific hypothalamic neurons contributes to the central regulation of energy balance. The result of this work has importantly influenced subsequent studies on the role of this pathway in the regulation of energy balance and obesity.

The study of the ECS and of the mTORC1 pathway has also characterized the research activity carried out in my laboratory, which was established thanks to an INSERM Avenir Grant in 2008 at the INSERM U862, NeuroCentre Magendie, in Bordeaux. We currently aim at understanding the relationship between CB1- and mTORC1-dependent signaling in the control of neuronal circuits regulating food intake and body weight.

Our work also focuses on better characterizing the obese sub-phenotypes in humans and in defining the therapeutic potential of novel CB1 antagonists for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders.


Mr Vincent  PREVOT
Directeur de Recherche INSERM, Lille

Mr Sébastien BOURET
Professeur, Université de Los Angeles

Mr Philippe CIOFI
Chargé de Recherche INSERM, Bordeaux                      

Mr Jean-Louis NAHON
Directeur de Recherche CNRS, Valbonne
Professeur Praticien Hospitalier, Université de Bordeaux
Professeur, Université de Milan

Last update: 30 March 2018