Matthew R Hayes, Ph.D.

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Professor of Psychiatry
Department: Psychiatry
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Translational Neuroscience Program, Department of Psychiatry
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
TRL Building
125 South 31st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
email: hayesmr@mail.med.upenn.edu
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-573-6070
B.S. (Biological Sciences)
Clemson University, 2002.
Ph.D. (Nutritional Sciences)
The Pennsylvania State University, 2006.
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Description of Research Expertise

The overarching goal of the Hayes lab is to identify and characterize the neural signaling pathways controlling for food intake and body weight regulation in an effort to treat obesity and associated co-morbidities. To this end, our research examines the behavioral, intracellular, neuronal and endocrine mechanisms governing energy balance and how these processes are dysregulated in obesity.
A major theme of research in our lab focuses on the neuropeptide glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and its role in regulating energy balance through action in the periphery on the vagus nerve (cranial nerve X), as well as the central nervous system (CNS). The potential for GLP-1 receptor agonists to be used as a pharmacological treatment for obesity has been highlighted in a number of recent publications. For this to become a reality, however, will require a deepened understanding of the behavioral, neuronal, and physiological mechanisms by which the peripheral and central GLP-1 systems control for food intake and body weight regulation.

Research Projects:

Reward / Motivated Feeding: Why We Override Our Satiation Signals.
It is clear that the excessive food intake, especially of palatable foods, that contributes to human obesity is not driven by metabolic need alone. While our lab investigates the importance of neuropeptide signaling on vagal afferents and in hindbrain and hypothalamic nuclei for the homeostatic control of food intake, it is also critical to examine and better define the neural basis of non-homeostatic controls of food intake.
Ongoing extensive investigations in our lab are examining the neuroendocrine systems that connect within-meal inhibitory feedback from gastrointestinal satiation signals to nuclei in the mesolimbic reward system (MRS), including the ventral tegmental area and nucleus accumbens. Activation of the MRS by these neuroendocrine systems is postulated to decrease motivation to continue feeding, leading to meal termination. Thus, current projects are investigating the behavioral, molecular, neuronal and physiological mechanisms by which energy balance-relevant neuropeptides (such as glucagon-like peptide-1, leptin and amylin) are modulating the non-homeostatic controls of feeding mediated by nuclei in the MRS.

Integrative Systems Neuroscience of Energy Balance
While the CNS control of energy balance involves redundant and anatomically distributed processing across the CNS, a few nuclei, such as the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) of the hindbrain, stand out as essential for the processing and integration of a variety of ascending and descending pathways controlling for food intake and energy balance. It is also very clear that more progress could be made in the treatment of obesity if research focused attention on these specific CNS nuclei that serve as hubs for the neural control of energy balance. Thus, our lab explores the intracellular mechanisms by which multiple neurochemical systems interact and synergize at the level of the NTS to control for energy balance.

From Hunger to Nausea: Points on the same spectrum of ingestive behavior.
More than 1.6 million cases of cancer are diagnosed yearly in the United States. The toll on the patient can be life-threatening, and unfortunately the pharmacological- and radiation-treatment options for cancer are commonly accompanied by a host of undesirable side effects (pain, diarrhea, anorexia, nausea, vomiting). The severity of these side effects can cause cancer patients to delay or refuse chemotherapy, in turn leading to increased patient morbidity and mortality. With approximately 80% of chemotherapy patients experiencing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, there is an urgent need to develop more effective anti-emetic and anti-nausea treatments to improve the quality of life for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Similar to the widely accepted view of nausea being a major side effect for cancer treatment, nausea and/or vomiting are the primary adverse events (i.e. side effects) reported in many patients receiving pharmacotherapy for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). Indeed, ~20-50% of T2DM patients maintained on the GLP-1R agonists (liraglutide and exendin-4) report nausea/vomiting, and yet there is very little investigation of the mechanisms mediating the nausea/malaise and virtually no understanding of the significance of nausea/malaise in relation to GLP-1 receptor-mediated suppression of food intake.
Although rodents lack the physiology needed to vomit, behavioral paradigms such as pica (ingestion of non-nutritive substances) and conditioned taste avoidance (CTA) are used commonly in both rats and mice as models for the study of malaise and nausea. Our lab utilizes these well-established rat models of malaise to determine the neural pathways and physiological mechanisms responsible for mediating the nausea/malaise induced by GLP-1 receptor ligands and chemotherapy drugs, as well as to determine whether the nausea/malaise is correlated or causal for the intake-inhibitory effects of GLP-1 receptor-targeting pharmaceuticals.

Selected Publications

Asker M, Krieger JP, Liles A, Tinsley IC, Borner T, Maric I, Doebley S, Furst CD, Börchers S, Longo F, Bhat YR, De Jonghe BC, Hayes MR, Doyle RP, Skibicka KP.: Peripherally restricted oxytocin is sufficient to reduce food intake and motivation, while CNS entry is required for locomotor and taste avoidance effects. Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism 25(3): 856-77, Jan 2023.

Reiner BC, Zhang Y, Stein LM, Perea ED, Arauco-Shapiro G, Ben Nathan J, Ragnini K, Hayes MR, Ferraro TN, Berrettini WH, Schmidt HD, Crist RC.: Single nucleus transcriptomic analysis of rat nucleus accumbens reveals cell type-specific patterns of gene expression associated with volitional morphine intake. Translational Psychiatry 12(1): 374, Sep 2022.

Sanchez M, Borner T, Hagan M, Gaisinsky J, Reiner BC, Crist R, Samson WK, Yosten GLC, Hayes MR, Stein LM.: Elucidating the role of CART signaling on the GPR-160 receptor in the DVC in the control of food intake. Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior Annual Meeting, Porto, Portugal July 2022.

Samms RJ, Cosgrove R, Snider BM, Furber EC, Droz BA, Briere DA, Dunbar J, Dogra M, Alsina-Fernandez J, Borner T, De Jonghe BC, Hayes MR, Coskun T, Sloop KW, Emmerson PJ, Ai M.: GIPR Agonism Inhibits PYY-Induced Nausea-Like Behavior. Diabetes 71(7): 1410-23, Jul 2022.

Applebey SV, Chichura K, Caffrey A, Schmidt HD, Doyle RP, Hayes MR.: Evaluating the role of hindbrain GLP-1R and NPY2R signaling in sensory-specific satiety. Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior Annual Meeting, Porto, Portugal July 2022.

Reiner BC, Crist RC, Borner T, Doyle RC, De Jonghe BC, Hayes MR. : GDF15-dependent and -independent effects of cisplatin on cell type-specific transcriptomes in the rat area postrema and nucleus tractus solitarius. Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior Annual Meeting, Porto, Portugal July 2022.

Cui QN, Stein LM, Fortin SM, Hayes MR.: The role of glia in the physiology and pharmacology of GLP-1: Implications for obesity, diabetes, and neurodegenerative processes including glaucoma. British Journal of Pharmacology 179(4): 715-26, Feb 2022.

Borner T, Tinsley IC, Doyle RP, Hayes MR, De Jonghe BC.: Glucagon-like peptide-1 in diabetes care: Can glycaemic control be achieved without nausea and vomiting? British Journal of Pharmacology 179(4): 542-56, Feb 2022 Notes: https://doi.org/10.1111/bph.15647.

9Reiner BC, Crist RC, Borner T, Doyle RP, Hayes MR, De Jonghe BC.: Single Nuclei RNA Sequencing of the rat AP and NTS following GDF15 Treatment. Molecular Metabolism 56: 101422, Feb 2022.

Geisler CE, Antonellis MP, Trumbauer W, Martin JA, Coskun T, Samms RJ, Hayes MR.: Tirzepatide suppresses palatable food intake by selectively reducing preference for fat in rodents. Diabetes 25(1): 56-67, Jan 2022.

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Last updated: 03/08/2023
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