Dr Yi-Chun Tung


My research interests focus on hypothalamic pathways involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis. During my current post, I am contributing to fundamental systems physiology approaches in rodents. With extensive expertise in hypothalamic neuroanatomy and immunohistochemistry, I was able to develop the use of laser capature microdissection on specific hypothalamic nuclei or cell populations and subject minute amounts of the extracted RNA to further downstream gene expression profiling studies. The recent data generated from our nuclei specific microarray gene expression profile, has enabled us to identify a number of potential novel molecules and pathways involved in the control of energy homeostasis. I am currently establishing strategies such as in vivo knocking down technology coupled with downstream carbohydrate and lipid metabolism phenotyping for validating a subset of those potential candidates as targets for future pharmacological exploitation.

Research Focus




transcriptional profile

energy metabolism

Clinical conditions

Alzheimer's disease

Anxiety disorders


Digestion and nutrition disorders

Eating disorders

Genetic disorders



Laser Capture Dissected Sample for Microarray



Laura Gumy

Krishna Zivraj

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Tung YC, Piper SJ, Yeung D, O'Rahilly S, Coll AP (2006), “A comparative study of the central effects of specific proopiomelancortin (POMC)-derived melanocortin peptides on food intake and body weight in pomc null mice” Endocrinology 147(12):5940-7 Details

    Tung YC, Hewson AK, Carter RN, Dickson SL (2005), “Central responsiveness to a ghrelin mimetic (GHRP-6) is rapidly altered by acute changes in nutritional status in rats” J Neuroendocrinol 17(6):387-93 Details

    Millington GW, Tung YC*, Hewson AK, O'Rahilly S, Dickson SL (2001), “Differential effects of alpha-, beta- and gamma(2)-melanocyte-stimulating hormones on hypothalamic neuronal activation and feeding in the fasted rat” Neuroscience 108(3):437-45



    Gulati P, Cheung MK, Antrobus R, Church CD, Harding HP, Tung YC, Rimmington D, Ma M, Ron D, Lehner PJ, Ashcroft FM, Cox RD, Coll AP, O'Rahilly S, Yeo GS (2013), “Role for the obesity-related FTO gene in the cellular sensing of amino acids.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110(7):2557-62 Details

    McMurray F, Church CD, Larder R, Nicholson G, Wells S, Teboul L, Tung YC, Rimmington D, Bosch F, Jimenez V, Yeo GS, O'Rahilly S, Ashcroft FM, Coll AP, Cox RD (2013), “Adult onset global loss of the fto gene alters body composition and metabolism in the mouse.” PLoS Genet 9(1):e1003166 Details


    Gumy LF, Yeo GS, Tung YC, Zivraj KH, Willis D, Coppola G, Lam BY, Twiss JL, Holt CE, Fawcett JW (2011), “Transcriptome analysis of embryonic and adult sensory axons reveals changes in mRNA repertoire localization.” RNA 17(1):85-98 Details

    Larder R, Cheung MK, Tung YC, Yeo GS, Coll AP (2011), “Where to go with FTO?” Trends Endocrinol Metab 22(2):53-9 Details

    Stewart L, Hindmarch CC, Qiu J, Tung YC, Yeo GS, Murphy D (2011), “Hypothalamic transcriptome plasticity in two rodent species reveals divergent differential gene expression but conserved pathways.” J Neuroendocrinol 23(2):177-85 Details

    Tung YC, Yeo GS (2011), “From GWAS to biology: lessons from FTO.” Ann N Y Acad Sci 1220:162-71 Details


    Dreja T, Jovanovic Z, Rasche A, Kluge R, Herwig R, Tung YC, Joost HG, Yeo GS, Al-Hasani H (2010), “Diet-induced gene expression of isolated pancreatic islets from a polygenic mouse model of the metabolic syndrome.” Diabetologia 53(2):309-20 Details

    Jovanovic Z, Tung YC, Lam BY, O'Rahilly S, Yeo GS (2010), “Identification of the global transcriptomic response of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus to fasting and leptin.” J Neuroendocrinol 22(8):915-25 Details

    Tung YC, Ayuso E, Shan X, Bosch F, O'Rahilly S, Coll AP, Yeo GS (2010), “Hypothalamic-specific manipulation of Fto, the ortholog of the human obesity gene FTO, affects food intake in rats.” PLoS One 5(1):e8771 Details

    Tung YC, Yeo GS (2010), “Central melanocortin signaling regulates cholesterol.” Nat Neurosci 13(7):779-80 Details

    Zivraj KH, Tung YC, Piper M, Gumy L, Fawcett JW, Yeo GS, Holt CE (2010), “Subcellular profiling reveals distinct and developmentally regulated repertoire of growth cone mRNAs.” J Neurosci 30(46):15464-78 Details


    Dash S, Sano H, Rochford JJ, Semple RK, Yeo G, Hyden CS, Soos MA, Clark J, Rodin A, Langenberg C, Druet C, Fawcett KA, Tung YC, Wareham NJ, Barroso I, Lienhard GE, O'Rahilly S, Savage DB (2009), “A truncation mutation in TBC1D4 in a family with acanthosis nigricans and postprandial hyperinsulinemia.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(23):9350-5 Details


    Prieur X, Tung YC, Griffin JL, Farooqi IS, O'Rahilly S, Coll AP (2008), “Leptin regulates peripheral lipid metabolism primarily through central effects on food intake.” Endocrinology 149(11):5432-9 Details

    Tung YC, Ma M, Piper S, Coll A, O'Rahilly S, Yeo GS (2008), “Novel leptin-regulated genes revealed by transcriptional profiling of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus.” J Neurosci 28(47):12419-26 Details


    Gerken T, Girard CA, Tung YC, Webby CJ, Saudek V, Hewitson KS, Yeo GS, McDonough MA, Cunliffe S, McNeill LA, Galvanovskis J, Rorsman P, Robins P, Prieur X, Coll AP, Ma M, Jovanovic Z, Farooqi IS, Sedgwick B, Barroso I, Lindahl T, Ponting CP, Ashcroft FM, O'Rahilly S, Schofield CJ (2007), “The obesity-associated FTO gene encodes a 2-oxoglutarate-dependent nucleic acid demethylase.” Science 318(5855):1469-72 Details

    López M, Lage R, Tung YC, Challis BG, Varela L, Virtue S, O'Rahilly S, Vidal-Puig A, Diéguez C, Coll AP (2007), “Orexin expression is regulated by alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone.” J Neuroendocrinol 19(9):703-7 Details

    Tung YC, Rimmington D, O'Rahilly S, Coll AP (2007), “Pro-opiomelanocortin modulates the thermogenic and physical activity responses to high-fat feeding and markedly influences dietary fat preference.” Endocrinology 148(11):5331-8 Details


    Coll AP, Fassnacht M, Klammer S, Hahner S, Schulte DM, Piper S, Tung YC, Challis BG, Weinstein Y, Allolio B, O'Rahilly S, Beuschlein F (2006), “Peripheral administration of the N-terminal pro-opiomelanocortin fragment 1-28 to Pomc-/- mice reduces food intake and weight but does not affect adrenal growth or corticosterone production.” J Endocrinol 190(2):515-25 Details

    Gray J, Yeo GS, Cox JJ, Morton J, Adlam AL, Keogh JM, Yanovski JA, El Gharbawy A, Han JC, Tung YC, Hodges JR, Raymond FL, O'rahilly S, Farooqi IS (2006), “Hyperphagia, severe obesity, impaired cognitive function, and hyperactivity associated with functional loss of one copy of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene.” Diabetes 55(12):3366-71 Details