Research Faculty

1150 St Nicholas Ave
Room 628
New York, NY 10032

Phone: 212-851-5314
Fax: 212-851-6306
Education and Training
A.B. Princeton University, 1989
Ph.D. The Rockefeller University 1996

Pathology & Cell Biology
Neurobiology & Behavior
Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center
Institute of Human Nutrition

Lori Zeltser, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology
Research Summary

Developing Circuits Regulating Food Intake and Body Weight

Patterns of increased adiposity and food intake in overweight children persist to adulthood, consistent with the idea that some metabolic set-points are established at a young age. My lab is focused on characterizing two types of developmental processes that could, in principle, impart persistent influences on metabolic phenotypes: (1) maternal influences on the differentiation of key neuronal populations in the embryonic and neonatal hypothalamus, and (2) the establishment of defended set-points for phenotypes related to body weight and adiposity during the peri-pubertal period. Our research, a synthesis of molecular biology, developmental neuroscience, mouse genetic models, and metabolism, reflects a novel approach to studying the molecular physiology of childhood obesity. Recently, we have extended this type of approach to develop a novel mouse model of Anorexia Nervosa. By analyzing metabolic and physiological outcomes in conjunction with neuroendocrine and neuronal phenotypes, we hope to elucidate how the maternal, psychosocial and nutritional factors influence susceptibility to obesity/Eating Disorders. In the long term, we hope that our research leads to the development of more efficacious strategies to combat these disorders.
Selected Publications

Padilla, S.L., Carmody, J.S. and Zeltser, L.M. (2010) Pomc-expressing progenitors give rise to antagonistic neuronal populations in hypothalamic feeding circuits. Nature Medicine 16(4):403-5.

Ring, L.E. and Zeltser, L.M. (2010) Disruption of hypothalamic leptin signaling in mice leads to early-onset obesity, but physiological adaptations in mature animals stabilize adiposity levels. JCI, 120(8):2931-41.

Carmody, J.S., Wan, P., Accili, D., Zeltser, L.M., and Leibel, R.L. (2011) Respective contributions of maternal insulin resistance and diet to metabolic and hypothalamic phenotypes of progeny. Obesity 19(3):492-9.

Padilla, S.L., Reef, D. and Zeltser, L.M. (2012) Defining POMC neurons utilizing transgenic reagents: Impact of transient Pomc expression in diverse immature neuronal populations. Endocrinology 153(3):1219-31.

Zeltser, L.M., Seeley, R.J, and Tschöp, M.H. (2012) Synaptic Plasticity in Neuronal Circuits Regulating Energy Balance. Nature Neuroscience. 15(10):1336-42.

Schwartz, G.J. and Zeltser, L.M. (2013) Functional Organization of Neuronal and Humoral Signals Regulating Feeding Behavior. Annual Reviews of Nutrition 33:1-21.


Hypothalamus, cell fate specification, AgRP/NPY neurons, POMC neurons, HPA axis, central actions of leptin, insulin and BDNF, maternal programming of metabolic disease, childhood obesity, anorexia nervosa

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