Research Director
ED 157

Central control of feeding behavior and energy expenditure



The modern abundance of energy-rich foods combined with a shift to more sedentary lifestyles has led to a thermodynamic imbalance, and consequently, excessive caloric intake and reduced energy...


Personal Statement

I received my PhD from the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France in 2003 in the laboratory directed by Dr Paul A Grimaldi. As a student I published seminal papers showing the role of PPAR delta in the control of muscle development and oxidative capability, and developed a strong knowledge in peripheral tissue metabolism & insulin sensitivity.  In 2003 I joined the laboratory of Professor Richard Palmiter (Howard Hughes Medical Institute & Department of Biochemistry) at the University of Washington. As a post-doc I focused primarily on the role of hypothalamic neurons that produce Agouti-related protein (AgRP) in the control of feeding behavior and further expanded my technical and conceptual skills in the field of molecular neuroendocrinology. I was recruited as an independent researcher by the French CNRS in 2006 and was awarded a young investigator research program where I now serve as group leader.  Since 2009 my group is established at the University Paris 7-Paris Diderot.

My group ( integrates the use of modern molecular genetic tools and mouse models to dissect the role of discrete neural circuit elements in the control of energy balance and the central basis of the metabolic syndrome.  A recent achievement was to identify a novel role for a hypothalamic circuitry in AgRP-neurons in the coordination of efferent organ activity and nutrient partitioning, providing a mechanistic link between obesity and obesity-related disorders. In addition we recently demonstrated that when AgRP-neurons ‘activity is compromised through genetic, pharmacologic or dietary intervention (such as diet-induced obesity)-feeding behaviour is no longer dependent on metabolic demands but prominently rely on dopamine-encoded reward and leads to compulsive/comfort feeding. I have also developed unique technological approaches that will allow us to decipher the physiological basis of central lipid sensing. We demonstrate an unexpected role for brain lipid detection as possible mechanism for addictive-like behaviour associated with high fat diet.

I have successfully completed for a variety of funds, raising no less than 1.1 million euros in research contracts and grants since 2009. Although young, my group has already established strong national and international scientific networks based on our team’s recognition in the field of energy balance regulation.The techniques routinely used include viral-mediated genetic modification of brain nuclei, neurons-specific genetic disruption, in vivo indwelled chronic perfusion (carotid artery, jugular vein, intracerebroventricular), in vivo analysis of insulin sensitivity, microsurgery (catheter, cannula implant, vagal deafferentiation, bariatric surgery in mice), in vivo assessment of motivated behavior and positive reinforcement, in vivo assessment of metabolic efficiency and energy balance using fully automated and integrated indirect calorimetry (VO2, VCO2, RER), food intake & tropism, water intake, locomotor activity, telemetric recording of body temperature and cardiac rhythm, as well as tissue, feces & urine collection

B. Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

2003-06                      Postdoctoral fellow University of Washington (lab of Richard Palmiter)

2006-present  Principal Investigator CNRS. Principal Investigator of a young research team in the University of Paris-Diderot-Paris 7 (

Professional Memberships

2014-              Members of the scientific advisory board of the Helmholtz Zentrum München German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH) Institute for Diabetes and Obesity (IDO), Munich, Germany.

2015-                          Scientific advisory board of the French Neuroendocrinology Society

2015-                          French Neuroscience Society

2015-                          Groupe d’Etude et de Recherche en Lipidomique (GERLI)

2016-                          Federation of European Neurosciences Society (FENS)

Honors and Awards ..

2011-             Recipient of « Action Thématique et Incitative sur Programme plus», ATIP plus of CNRS.

2012-                   Recipient of the research grant from the Société Francophone du Diabète-industrie

2015-              Nominated for the Helmholtz Young Investigator Diabetes Award (HeIDi)

International communication as invited speaker

2013               Amsterdam, The Netherlands. international congress Nutrition, Metabolism and the Brain

2013               Copenhague, Danemark. Hagedorn insulin symposium,Novo Nordisk.

2014               Rennes, France. international conference « The affective Face of Desire »

2014               Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 12th Endo-Neuro-Psycho meeting

2014               Sydney, Australia.International congress of Neuroendocrinology (ICN) 2014

2014               Rennes, France. 27th Conference of European Comparative Endocrinologists 2014

2014               Berlin, Germany. German French Conference on Diabetes Research

2015               Paris, France. “Journee Chevreuil 2015” Lipids & Brain 3. French Society for the Study of Lipids

2015               Leipzig, Germany. 1st Leipzig International Meeting for Interdisciplinary Obesity Research (LIMIOR)

2015               Munich, Germany. 3rd Annual Helmholtz-­‐Nature Medicine Diabetes Conference

2015               Munich, Germany- Mini-symposium “Metabolic Principles of Physiology and Disease”


C. Contribution to Science.

b. Joly-Amado, A., Denis, R.G., Castel, J., Lacombe, A., Cansell, C., Rouch, C., Kassis, N., Dairou, J., Cani, P.D., Ventura-Clapier, R., Prola, A., Flamment, M., Foufelle, F.,Magnan, C., Luquet, S. (2012). Hypothalamic AgRP-neurons control peripheral substrate utilization and nutrient partitioning. EMBO J 31:4276-4288.

c.  Denis, RG., Joly, A., Webber, E., Langlet, F., Schaeffer, M., Padilla, S., Cansell, C., Dehouck, B., Castel, J., Delbes, AS., Martniez, S.,Lacombe, A., Rouch, C., Kassis, N., Fehrentz,J-A., Martinez, J, Verdié, P., Hnasko, T, Palmiter, RD., Krashes, MJ., Güler, A., Magnan, C., Luquet, S (2015). Palatability can drive feeding independent of AgRP neurons. Cell Metab 22, 646-657

a.         Cansell, C., Castel, J., Denis, R., Rouch, C., Delbes, AS., Martinez, S., Mestivier, D., Finan, B., Maldonado-Aviles, J.G, Rijnsburger, M.,  Tschöp, M.H., DiLeone, R.J., Eckel, R.H., La Fleur, S., Magnan, C., Hnasko, T., Luquet., S (2014). Dietary triglycerides act on mesolimbic structures to regulate the rewarding and motivational aspects of feeding. Mol Psychiatry 19, 1095-1105.

b.         Magnan, C., Levin, B.E., and Luquet, S. (2015). Brain lipid sensing and the neural control of energy balance. Mol Cell Endocrinol 418 Pt 1, 3-8

c.         Cansell, C., Luquet, S. (2015). Triglyceride sensing in the reward circuitry: a new insight in feeding behavior regulation. Biochimie 120, 75-80.


Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography:


  1. Magnan, C., Levin, B.E., and Luquet, S. (2015). Brain lipid sensing and the neural control of energy balance. Mol Cell Endocrinol 418 Pt 1, 3-8. (IF 2014: 4.4)
  2. Cansell, C., Luquet, S. (2015). Triglyceride sensing in the reward circuitry: a new insight in feeding behavior regulation. Biochimie 120, 75-80. (IF 2014: 2.963)
  3. Moulle, V.S., Picard, A., Cansell, C., Luquet, S., and Magnan, C. (2015). Role of brain lipid sensing in nervous regulation of energy balance. Med Sci (Paris) 31, 397-403. (IF 2014: 0.671)
  4. Magnan, C & Luquet, S. Lipid sensing in the brain and regulation of energy balance (2014). Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, In press. (IF 2014: 4.405)
  5. Picard, A., Moulle, V.S., Le Foll, C., Cansell, C., Veret, J., Coant, N., Le Stunff, H., Migrenne, S., Luquet, S., Cruciani-Guglielmacci, C., et al. (2014). Physiological and pathophysiological implications of lipid sensing in the brain. Diabetes Obes Metab 16 Suppl 1, 49-55. (IF 2014: 6.36)
  6. Joly-Amado, A., Cansell, C., Denis, R.G., Delbes, A.S., Castel, J., Martinez, S., and Luquet, S. (2014). The hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and the control of peripheral substrates. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab 28, 725-737. (IF 2014: 4.602)
  7. Denis, RGP., Joly-Amado A., Cansell, C., Castel, J, Martinez, S., Delbes, AS., Luquet, S. (2014) Central orchestration of peripheral nutrient partionning and substrate utilization: implication for the metabolic syndrome. Diabetes Metab 40, 191-197.. (IF 2014: 3.267)
  8. Cansell, C., Luquet, S. (2014). La détection centrale des lipides et la régulation du comportement alimentaire : implication dans l’obésité/Central lipid detection and the regulation of feeding behavior : inplication in obesity. les Cahiers de nutrition et de diététique (2014). (IF 2012: pas d’impact) 49, 32 – 43.
  9. Cansell, C., Luquet, S. Central lipid detection and the regulation of feeding behavior. (2013). review. Oléagineux Corps gras Lipides. OCL. Vol 20 N°2 mars-avril 2013. 93-101. (IF 2012: pas d’impact)
  10. Denis, RGP.,Cansell, C., Castel, J., Luquet, S. Circuits de la récompense et prise alimentaire/ Reward neurocircuitry and food intake. (2013). Médecine des maladies Métaboliques – 7,13-21. (IF 2012: pas d’impact)