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Marina Romaní Pérez

Marina Romaní Pérez

session, year:
2014 1st

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
NutriNeuro Nutrition and integrated neurobiology, Bordeaux Aquitaine

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Mobility project

Influence of early chronic stress and early exposure to highly palatable food on food-motivated behavior and reward neural pathways.

Obesity, which involves other obesity-induced complications such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and psychological and psychiatric health problems, has become the new epidemic of the XXI century. All of these disorders show a worrying increase over the years therefore all the efforts are being focused on prevention as early as possible in life. Gestation and lactation are critical periods when life experiences have a strong impact on offspring. A compulsive eating behavior leads to obesity due to the great availability of highly palatable food in westernized societies. Therefore, the exposure to external factors capable of modifying the neural circuits regulating eating behavior is a potential risk factor to induce obesity. In fact, it has been reported that early-life exposure to palatable food increases the risk to obesity later in life and modifies the eating behavior. Additionally, maternal behavior plays a key role in the development of brain and normal endocrine axis function in offspring. Particularly, chronic maternal deprivation produces a permanent alteration of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis which has been linked to anxiety-like behavior. However, to date, potential mechanisms responsible for a perinatal programming of food preference and food motivated behavior that then lead to obesity are not well understood. The purpose of this project is to investigate the mechanisms involved in the impact of early life exposure to palatable food and chronic stress on the neural circuits involved in eating behavior.

Biography & research interests

After finishing my undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology in 2007 at University of Santiago de Compostela, I got a merit based scholarship to obtain the postgraduate diploma in Endocrinology at University of Vigo (2009). Afterwards (September 2009) I was awarded a fellowship to develop my PhD that was focused on the role of the hormone GLP-1 and its analogues on lung function and maturation. During this time, I did 2 pre-doctoral stays of 3 months at Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Alberto Sols (CSIC, Madrid) and at German Institute of Human Nutrition (Dife, Postdam-Rehbrücke, Germany). In January 2014, I received my PhD degree by the University of Vigo with the highest qualification. From my PhD I published 2 papers as a first author and 3 as a second author ranked in Q1 (Endocrinology and Metabolism). In September 2014, thanks to AgreenSkills programme I joined NutriNeurO lab in Bordeax (UMR1286 INRA/Université de Bordeaux) where I studied the development of the attraction toward sweet and/ or fatty foods in children. In particular, using animal models I studied the long-term consequences of early life stress and nutrition on the energy homeostasis control and food motivated behavior. Moreover I was also involved in other project regarding the impact of diabetes on mood disorders.

Selected publications

Iglesias-Outeiriño V, Romaní-Pérez M, González-Matías LC, Vigo E, Mallo F., 2015. GLP-1 Increases Preovulatory LH Source and the Number of Mature Follicles, As Well As Synchronizing the Onset of Puberty in Female Rats. Endocrinology. 11, 4226-4237.

Romaní-Pérez M, Iglesias-Outeiriño V, Moya CM, et al., 2015. Activation of the GLP-1 Receptor by Liraglutide Increases ACE2 Expression, Reversing Right Ventricle Hypertrophy, and Improving the Production of SP-A and SP-B in the Lungs of Type 1 Diabetes Rats. Endocrinology. 10, 3559-69.

Gil-Lozano M, Romaní-Pérez M, Iglesias-Outeiriño V, et al., 2014. Corticotropin-releasing hormone and the adrenal medulla are major mediators in the effects of peripherally administered exendin-4 on the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal axis of male rats. Endocrinology. 155 (7), pp. 2511-23.

Gil-Lozano M, Romaní-Pérez M, Iglesias-Outeiriño V, et al., 2013. Effects of prolonged exendin-4 administration on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and water balance. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 304 (10) 1105 - 1117.

Romaní-Pérez M, Iglesias-Outeiriño V, et al., 2013. Pulmonary GLP-1 receptor increases at birth and exogenous GLP-1 receptor agonists augmented surfactantprotein levels in litters from normal and nitrofen-treated pregnant rats. Endocrinology, 154 (3), 1144-55.

Awards & patents

Second prize for best oral communication exposed in basic endocrinology: “Liraglutide reconstituye la maduración pulmonar fetal en un modelo de subnutrición durante la gestación” from Sociedad Española de Endocrinología y Nutrición (Healthcare Institutions). 23/05/2014

Second prize for best poster communication exposed in basic endocrinology: “GLP-1 modula la función reproductora y sincroniza el inicio de la pubertad en ratas hembra” from Sociedad Española de Endocrinología y Nutrición (Healthcare Institutions). 23/05/2014

Second prize for best poster communication exposed in basic endocrinology "Bloqueo de receptores de melanocortinas en la ingesta y sus señales moduladoras en la rata" from Sociedad Gallega de Endocrinología, Nutrición y Metabolismo (Healthcare Institutions). 26/10/2013

Second prize for best oral communications exposed in basic endocrinology: “Liraglutide revierte el déficit de proteínas del surfactante y la hipertrofia ventricular derecha en un modelo de diabetes tipo I” from Sociedad Española de Endocrinología y Nutrición (Healthcare Institutions). 16/05/2013

First prize for best poster communications exposed in basic endocrinology: "Liraglutide restaura las deficiencias en el surfactante pulmonar y aumenta la supervivencia neonatal en un modelo de desarrollo pulmonar incompleto." from Sociedad Gallega de Endocrinología Nutrición y Metabolismo. (Healthcare Institutions). 09/11/2012

Accesit prize for best oral communications exposed in basic endocrinology: "Liraglutide mejora la función respiratoria en un modelo de hipoplasia pulmonar inducida." from: Sociedad Española de Endocrinología y Nutrición (Healthcare Institutions). 25/05/2012


Early chronic stress, HPA-axis, maternal overnutrition, food-motivated behavior, mesolimbic dopamine reward system, opiods, cannabinoids, peripheral signals of energy homeostasis.