• Diploma, Phillips University, Marburg, Germany
  • Ph.D., University Hospital Hamburg and University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany (Biology)
  • Postdoctoral Training, Harvard University/BIDMC, Boston, USA

Research Interests

Dissection of neuronal circuits (CNS and peripheral nervous system) that are involved in the physiological adaptation of energy expenditure and food intake (e.g. temperature and energy sensing).

Integration of exteroceptive and interoceptive signals (e.g. cold, diet, fasting, leptin, norepinephrine) to adapt energy expenditure and food intake in response to physiological challenges.

Role of leptin in the homeostatic regulation of energy expenditure and food intake.

We use a variety of molecular genetic and viral approaches (in vivo chemogenetics, optogenetics, fiber photometry) to dissect central or peripheral neuronal circuits that are involved in energy expenditure and food intake adaptation.

We use whole body and whole spinal cord iDISCO staining and tissue clearing to visualize central (hypothalamic) and peripheral circuits (sympathetic pre- and postganglionic neurons) using light sheet and confocal microscopy of large specimen.

Department: Central Leptin Signaling


Selected Publications

  1. Huesing C, Qualls-Creekmore E, Lee L, Francois M, Torres H, Zhang R, Burk DH, Yu S, Morrison CD, Berthoud HR, Neuhuber W, Münzberg H:Sympathetic innervation of inguinal white adipose tissue in the mouse. J Comp. Neurology 2020 ahead of print
  2. Münzberg H, Singh P, Heymsfield SB, Yu S, Morrison CD: Recent advances in understanding the role of leptin in energy homeostasis. F1000Res. May 27; 9; F1000 Faculty Rev-451 eCollection 2020, PMID:32518627
  3. Francois M, Torres H, Huesing C, Zhang R, Saurage C, Lee N, Qualls-Creekmore E, Yu S, Morrison CD, Burk D, Berthoud HR, Münzberg H:Sympathetic innervation of the interscapular brown adipose tissue in the mouse. Ann NY Acad Sci, 2019 Jun 11, PMID:31184376
  4. Yu S, Münzberg H: Testing Effects of Chronic Chemogenetic Neuronal Stimulation on Energy Balance by Indirect Calorimetry. Bio Protoc., 2018, 8(8):e2811, PMCID:PMC6018017
  5. Yu S, Cheng H, Francois M, Qualls-Creekmore E, Huesing C, He Y, Jiang Y, Gao H, Xu Y, Zsombock A, Derbenev AV, Morrison CD, Berthoud HR, Münzberg H: Preoptic leptin signaling modulates energy balance independent of body temperature regulation. Elife, 2018, 7:e33505, PMCID:PMC5953538
  6. Francois M, Qualls-Creekmore E, Berthoud HR, Münzberg H, Yu S: Genetics-based manipulation of adipose tissue sympathetic innervation. Physiology & Behavior, 190:21-27, 2017, PMCID:PMC5832526
  7. Yu S, Francois M, Huesing C, Münzberg H: The Hypothalamic Preoptic Area and Body Weight Control. Neuroendocrinology, 2018, 106(2):187-194
  8. Qualls-Creekmore E, Yu S, Francois M, Hoang J, Huesing C, Bruce-Keller A, Berthoud HR, Morrison CD, Münzberg H: Galanin-Expressing GABA Neurons in the Lateral Hypothalamus Modulate Food Reward and Noncompulsive Locomotion. J Neuroscience, 37(25):6053-6065, 2017, PMCID:PMC5481941
  9. Münzberg H, Qualls-Creekmore E, Yu S, Morrison CD, Berthoud H-R: Hedonics Act in Unison with the Homeostatic System to Unconsciously Control Body Weight. Front Nutr. 2016, 15:3-6
  10. Yu S, Rezai-Zadeh K, Jiang Y, Berthoud HR, Morrison CD, Derbenev AV, Zombok A, Münzberg H: Glutamatergic Preoptic Area Neurons That Express Leptin Receptors Drive Temperature-Dependent Body Weight Homeostasis. J Neurosci, 2016, 36(18):5034-46, PMCID:PMC4854966
  11. Münzberg H, Qualls-Creekmore E, Berthoud H-R, Morrison CD, Yu S: Neural Control of Energy Expenditure. Handbook Experimental Pharmacology, 2015, Epub
  12. Laque A, Yu S, Qualls-Creekmore E, Gettys S, Schwartzenburg C, Bui K, Rhodes C, Berthoud HR, Morrison CD, Richards BK, Münzberg H: Leptin modulates nutrient reward via inhibitory galanin action on orexin neurons. Molecular Metabolism, 2015, 4(10):706-17, PMCID:PMC4588437
  13. Rezai-Zadeh K, Yu, Sangho, Jiang Y, Laque A, Schwartzenburg C, Morrison CD, Derbenev AV, Zsombok A, Münzberg H: Leptin Receptor Neurons in the Dorsomedial Hypothalamus are Key Regulators of Energy Expenditure and body weight, but not Food Intake. Molecular Metabolism 2014,3:681-93, PMCID: PMC4209380, featured on Journal’s title page
  14. Münzberg H, Laque A, Yu S, Rezai-Zadeh, Berthoud H-R: Appetite and body weight regulation after bariatric surgery. Int J Obes, Review, 2015, Suppl 1:77-90
  15. Rezai-Zadeh K, Münzberg H: Integration of sensory information via central thermoregulatory leptin targets. Physiol Behav. 2013, 121:49-55, PMCID: PMC3683124
  16. Laque A, Zhang Y, Gettys S, Nguyen TA, Bui K, Morrison CD, Münzberg H: Leptin receptor neurons in the mouse hypothalamus are co-localized with the neuropeptide galanin and mediate anorexigenic leptin action. AJP Endocrinol Metab, Epub Mar 2013, PMCID:PMC3651648.
  17. Zhang Y, Kerman IA, Laque A, Faouzi M, Louis GW, Jones JC, Rhodes C, Münzberg H: Leptin Receptor Expressing Neurons in the Dorsomedial Hypothalamus and Median Preoptic Area Regulate Sympathetic Brown Adipose Tissue Circuits. J Neurosci., 31(5):1873-84, 2011, PMCID:PMC3069639.
  18. Berthoud HR, Münzberg H: The lateral hypothalamus as intergrator of metabolic and environmental needs:from electrical self-stimulation to opto-genetics. Physiol Behav., 104(1):29-39, 2011 PMCID:PMC3131619.

A full list of Dr. Muenzberg-Gruening's publications is also available here.