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America / Covasa


Nutrition, Microbiota and Ingestive Behavior

Head : Mihai Covasa


Laboratory : Nutrition, Microbiota and Ingestive Behavior
Head: Mihai Covasa


1. Altered sensitivity to satiation signals
Using a combination of neuroanatomical, behavioral, biochemical, physiological and molecular approaches we are investigating satiation signals that control eating and other physiological functions. Consequently, we are interested in the reduction of sensitivity to satiation signals in response to dietary adaptation, particularly dietary fat and subsequent development of hyperphagia and obesity. Reduction in sensitivity of gastrointestinal neurons to neuropeptides, the neuroanatomy of and pharmacology of viscerosensory projection in the brain and the effects of nutrients and peptides on feeding is also studied. Our ongoing work is focused on the detection of specific nutrients, and peptides by receptors in the gut and the transduction and transmission of this chemosensory information to the brain.

2. Role of gut microbiota in control of food intake and regulation of body weight
A potential role of gut microbiota in influencing food intake, energy homeostasis, and weight gain has been suggested. We have shown that gut microbiota modulates expression of nutrient-responsive receptors and transporters, leading to altered food consumption in mice. Our laboratory is also investigating the role of gut microbiota as a signaling molecule involved in gastrointestinal chemosensing. We also study the mechanisms by which intestinal microbiota modulates the release and activity of the gut peptides influencing appetitive responses and weight regulation. Finally, the role of dietary manipulation altering intestinal microflora profile to affect metabolism is examined.

Keywords :Intestinal microbiota, microbiota transfer, behavioral, obesity, gut hormones, gut-brain axis, signalisation

The research group consist of:
Mihai Covasa, Research Director
Fabienne Devime, Research assistant
Yassine Sakar, Postdoctoral fellow
Timothy Swartz, Doctoral student
Frank Duca, Doctoral student
Bénédicte Langelier, Ingineer
Christine Seillan-Heberden, PhD (from January 1 2014)
Elise Maximin, Ingineer (from January 1 2014)
Véronique Duard, PhD (from January 1 2014)


Mihai Covasa

Institut Micalis (UMR1319/INRA-AgroParisTech)
I.N.R.A., Domaine de Vilvert
78352 Jouy en Josas Cedex, France

Writing: Mihai Covasa
Creation date: 14 April 2011
Update: 29 January 2015