Lateral hypothalamus

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Lateral hypothalamus
Lateral hypothalamus is 'LT', at right, in yellow.
MeSH A08.186.211.730.385.357.300
NeuroNames hier-409
NeuroLex ID Lateral hypothalamus
TA A14.1.08.929
FMA 62030
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The lateral hypothalamus or lateral hypothalamic area, (LHA) and the lateral preoptic area belong to the lateral zone of the hypothalamus.[1] The LHA is involved in hunger and wakefulness[citation needed].

Damage to this area can cause reduced food intake. Stimulating the lateral hypothalamus causes a desire to eat, while stimulating the ventromedial hypothalamus causes a desire to stop eating.

Neurotransmitters involved in its function are glutamate and orexin.[citation needed]


The glucostatic explanation is based on the homeostatic theory which indicates that the body has balanced states of equilibrium for each system. When out of balance, the body will be pushed to restore balance. Therefore, when the blood sugar level drops, the glucostatic receptors in the blood take a message to the lateral hypothalamus, which is the feeding center of the brain. This causes certain neurons in the brain to fire in unison, creating the sensation of hunger.

When the glucose level increases because the person is eating or has eaten, the glucostatic receptors in the blood then send a message to the ventromedial hypothalamus (the satiety or satisfaction center) and the sensation of fullness occurs.

Damage to the lateral hypothalamus may lead to a condition known as Frölich's syndrome.


  1. ^ ancil-316 at NeuroNames