Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Cone, Roger D , PhD
Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Joe C. Davis Chair in Biomedical Science

Lab Url:

Phone Number: 615-936-7085


Cone, Roger's picture

Office Address   Mailing Address

8425C MRB IV

702 Light Hall 37232-0615

Research Keywords
Obesity, cachexia, anorexia, energy homeostasis, melanocortin, hypothalamus

Research Specialty
Regulation of Energy Homeostasis by the Central Nervous System; Biology of Melanocortin Peptides and Receptors

Research Description
Our primary interest is understanding how the central nervous system regulates energy stores. We are focused not only on the normal process, but also on the pathophysiological mechanisms that lead to common obesity, severe monogenic obesity, metabolic syndrome, cachexia or disease wasting, anorexia nervosa, and other eating disorders. A theme of the lab has been understanding the role of the central melanocortin system in these processes.

Because we are focused on a complex biological problem that impacts multiple physiological systems, we apply a wide variety of techniques including genetics, molecular biology, neuroantomy, and electrophysiology. Our work also spans a wide range of organisms, from zebrafish to mouse, to humans. New projects include development of the zebrafish as a model system for whole genome forward genetics of energy homeostasis, and identification of genes predisposing humans to anorexia nervosa.

Hatoum, IJ, Stylopoulos, N, Vanhoose, AM, Boyd, KL, Yin, DP, Ellacott, KL, Ma, LL, Blaszczyk, K, Keogh, JM, Cone, RD, Farooqi, IS, Kaplan, LM. Melanocortin-4 receptor signaling is required for weight loss after gastric bypass surgery. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 97(6), E1023-31, 2012.

Renquist, BJ, Murphy, JG, Larson, EA, Olsen, D, Klein, RF, Ellacott, KL, Cone, RD. Melanocortin-3 receptor regulates the normal fasting response. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109(23), E1489-98, 2012.

Zhang, C, Forlano, PM, Cone, RD. AgRP and POMC neurons are hypophysiotropic and coordinately regulate multiple endocrine axes in a larval teleost. Cell Metab, 15(2), 256-64, 2012.

Cone, RD, Simerly, RB. Leptin grows up and gets a neural network. Neuron, 71(1), 4-6, 2011. PMCID:3175484

Ghamari-Langroudi, M, Cone, RD. Shining a light on energy homeostasis. Cell Metab, 13(3), 235-6, 2011. PMCID:3073614

Ghamari-Langroudi, M, Srisai, D, Cone, RD. Multinodal regulation of the arcuate/paraventricular nucleus circuit by leptin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108(1), 355-60, 2011. PMCID:3017160

Pantel, J, Williams, SY, Mi, D, Sebag, J, Corbin, JD, Weaver, CD, Cone, RD. Development of a high throughput screen for allosteric modulators of melanocortin-4 receptor signaling using a real time cAMP assay. Eur J Pharmacol, 660(1), 139-47, 2011. PMCID:3175485

Renquist, BJ, Lippert, RN, Sebag, JA, Ellacott, KL, Cone, RD. Physiological roles of the melanocortin MCa?? receptor. Eur J Pharmacol, 660(1), 13-20, 2011. PMCID:3095771

Schi??th, HB, V??stermark, ??, Cone, RD. Reply to Braasch and Postlethwait: Evolutionary origin of the teleost A2 agouti genes (agouti signaling protein 2 and agouti-related protein 2) remains unclear. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108(13), E49-50, 2011. PMCID:3069206

Srisai, D, Gillum, MP, Panaro, BL, Zhang, XM, Kotchabhakdi, N, Shulman, GI, Ellacott, KL, Cone, RD. Characterization of the hyperphagic response to dietary fat in the MC4R knockout mouse. Endocrinology, 152(3), 890-902, 2011. PMCID:3040060

Date, Y, Mondal, MS, Kageyama, H, Ghamari-Langroudi, M, Takenoya, F, Yamaguchi, H, Shimomura, Y, Mori, M, Murakami, N, Shioda, S, Cone, RD, Nakazato, M. Neuropeptide W: An Anorectic Peptide Regulated by Leptin and Metabolic State. Endocrinology, , , 2010.

Ghamari-Langroudi, M, Vella, KR, Srisai, D, Sugrue, ML, Hollenberg, AN, Cone, RD. Regulation of thyrotropin-releasing hormone-expressing neurons in paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus by signals of adiposity. Mol Endocrinol, 24(12), 2366-81, 2010. PMCID:2999480

Zhang, C, Song, Y, Thompson, DA, Madonna, MA, Millhauser, GL, Toro, S, Varga, Z, Westerfield, M, Gamse, J, Chen, W, Cone, RD. Pineal-specific agouti protein regulates teleost background adaptation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107(47), 20164-71, 2010. PMCID:2996689

Gruber, KA, Fan, W, Akerberg, H, Larhammar, D, Chee, MJ, Colmers, WF, Cone, RD. Neuropeptide Y and gamma-melanocyte stimulating hormone (gamma-MSH) share a common pressor mechanism of action. Endocrine, 35(3), 312-24, 2009. PMCID:2714906

Sutton, GM, Perez-Tilve, D, Nogueiras, R, Fang, J, Kim, JK, Cone, RD, Gimble, JM, Tsch??p, MH, Butler, AA. The melanocortin-3 receptor is required for entrainment to meal intake. J Neurosci, 28(48), 12946-55, 2008. PMCID:2613653

Ellacott, KL, Murphy, JG, Marks, DL, Cone, RD. Obesity-induced inflammation in white adipose tissue is attenuated by loss of melanocortin-3 receptor signaling. Endocrinology, 148(12), 6186-94, 2007. PMCID:2714906

Forlano, PM, Cone, RD. Conserved neurochemical pathways involved in hypothalamic control of energy homeostasis. J Comp Neurol, 505(3), 235-48, 2007. PMCID:2714906

Song, Y, Cone, RD. Creation of a genetic model of obesity in a teleost. FASEB J, 21(9), 2042-9, 2007. PMCID:2714906

Voss-Andreae, A, Murphy, JG, Ellacott, KL, Stuart, RC, Nillni, EA, Cone, RD, Fan, W. Role of the central melanocortin circuitry in adaptive thermogenesis of brown adipose tissue. Endocrinology, 148(4), 1550-60, 2007. PMCID:2714906

Cone, RD. Studies on the physiological functions of the melanocortin system. Endocr Rev, 27(7), 736-49, 2006. PMCID:2714906

Ellacott, KL, Cone, RD. The role of the central melanocortin system in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis: lessons from mouse models. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 361(1471), 1265-74, 2006. PMCID:1642695

Ellacott, KL, Halatchev, IG, Cone, RD. Characterization of leptin-responsive neurons in the caudal brainstem. Endocrinology, 147(7), 3190-5, 2006. PMCID:1642695

Ellacott, KL, Halatchev, IG, Cone, RD. Interactions between gut peptides and the central melanocortin system in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Peptides, 27(2), 340-9, 2006. PMCID:1642695

Mak, RH, Cheung, W, Cone, RD, Marks, DL. Mechanisms of disease: Cytokine and adipokine signaling in uremic cachexia. Nat Clin Pract Nephrol, 2(9), 527-34, 2006. PMCID:2613653

Mak, RH, Cheung, W, Cone, RD, Marks, DL. Leptin and inflammation-associated cachexia in chronic kidney disease. Kidney Int, 69(5), 794-7, 2006. PMCID:1642695

Marks, DL, Hruby, V, Brookhart, G, Cone, RD. The regulation of food intake by selective stimulation of the type 3 melanocortin receptor (MC3R). Peptides, 27(2), 259-64, 2006. PMCID:1679957

Morgan, C, Cone, RD. Melanocortin-5 receptor deficiency in mice blocks a novel pathway influencing pheromone-induced aggression. Behav Genet, 36(2), 291-300, 2006. PMCID:1642695

Ni, XP, Butler, AA, Cone, RD, Humphreys, MH. Central receptors mediating the cardiovascular actions of melanocyte stimulating hormones. J Hypertens, 24(11), 2239-46, 2006. PMCID:2613653

Cheung, W, Yu, PX, Little, BM, Cone, RD, Marks, DL, Mak, RH. Role of leptin and melanocortin signaling in uremia-associated cachexia. J Clin Invest, 115(6), 1659-65, 2005. PMCID:1136984

Cone, RD. Anatomy and regulation of the central melanocortin system. Nat Neurosci, 8(5), 571-8, 2005. PMCID:1136984

Ghamari-Langroudi, M, Colmers, WF, Cone, RD. PYY3-36 inhibits the action potential firing activity of POMC neurons of arcuate nucleus through postsynaptic Y2 receptors. Cell Metab, 2(3), 191-9, 2005. PMCID:1679957

Halatchev, IG, Cone, RD. Peripheral administration of PYY(3-36) produces conditioned taste aversion in mice. Cell Metab, 1(3), 159-68, 2005. PMCID:1679957

Postdoctoral Position Available

Postdoctoral Position Details
The laboratory is interested in attracting outstanding postdoctoral fellows interested in research on the central control of energy homeostasis. We are currently looking for scientists with experience in 1) GPCR pharmacology and drug discovery, 2) zebrafish genetics, 3) mouse modeling using tissue specific gene targeting, and 4) bioinformatics and whole exome sequencing and analysis.

Updated Date

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