Digestive Health Center

  • Obesity and the Digestive System

    Randall R. Sakai, PhD
    Professor
    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

    Description of Research

    Dr. Sakai’s research on digestive disease examines the relationship between social stress and regulation of food intake. He uses a unique animal model to determine how social hierarchies influence the regulation of food intake and body weight and to identify the neuroendocrine mechanisms that underlie social influences on body weight. His research utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to examine behavioral and physiological phenomena at multiple levels and includes behavioral observations, in vivo manipulations such as antisense oligodeoxynucleotide technology, and molecular biological assays. Dr. Sakai also has a non-digestive disease research program focused on the role of the renin-angiotensin system and adrenal steroids in mediating thirst and sodium appetite.

    Collaborations and Core Use

    Dr. Sakai collaborates with Drs. D’Alessio, Seeley, Tso, and Woods on examining the effects of stress on body weight and body composition. Anticipated Core use: Biostatistical service.

 
  • Research image.

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    Research image.

    Meal size. A: subordinate males (SUB) have a decreased meal size upon visible burrow system (VBS) housing. B: overall, average meal size was reduced in SUB only during the hierarchy-formation phase. C: SUB animals consumed larger meals during every week of the recovery period compared with controls (CON). D: meal size was increased in SUB throughout the recovery period. *P <0.01 vs. CON; †P < 0.01 vs. DOM; ‡P < 0.01 vs. CON and DOM; §P < 0.05 CON vs. SUB; §§P < 0.01 CON vs. SUB. Figure from Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 2010;299:R813-22.