Blood glucose responses to electrical stimulation of the hypothalamic feeding area

David A. Booth, Edgar E. Coons, Neal E. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Passage of current for brief periods through electrodes in the lateral hypothalamus virtually always resulted in a distinctive biphasic hyperglycaemia in the case of electrodes capable of eliciting feeding at similar current intensities. The biphasic hyperglycaemic response was sometimes elicited by electrodes aimed at the feeding area but not capable of eliciting feeding. The response remained under pentobarbital anaesthesia. Electrodes in other regions of the hypothalamus gave monophasic hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia or no blood glucose change. The hyperglycaemic phases of the biphasic response were diminished by an adrenergic alpha-receptor blocking agent and by bilateral adrenal demedullation. The intermediate lowering of blood glucose concentration could be eliminated by injection of atropine or by sub-diaphragmatic bilateral vagotomy. It is therefore possible that the hypothalamic feeding system is directly connected to autonomic systems influencing endocrine regulation of glucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1001
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1969


  • Autonomic activation
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Feeding
  • Hyperglycaemia
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Lateral hypothalamus
  • Physiological correlates of hunger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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