Objective: In preclinical models, insulin resistance in the dorsal striatum (DS) contributes to overeating. Although human studies support the concept of central insulin resistance, they have not investigated its effect on consummatory reward-induced brain activity. Methods: Taste-induced activation was assessed in the caudate and putamen of the DS with blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging. Three phenotypically distinct groups were studied: metabolically healthy lean, metabolically healthy obesity, and metabolically unhealthy obesity (MUO; presumed to have central insulin resistance). Participants with MUO also completed a weight loss intervention followed by a second functional magnetic resonance imaging session. Results: The three groups were significantly different at baseline consistent with the design. The metabolically healthy lean group had a primarily positive BOLD response, the MUO group had a primarily negative BOLD response, and the metabolically healthy obesity group had a response in between the two other groups. Food craving was predicted by taste-induced activation. After weight loss in the MUO group, taste-induced activation increased in the DS. Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis that insulin resistance and obesity contribute to aberrant responses to taste in the DS, which is only partially attenuated by weight loss. Aberrant responses to food exposure may be a barrier to weight loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2065-2075
Number of pages11
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Dorsal striatal response to taste is modified by obesity and insulin resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this