The skinny on neurotrophins

Wisse, Brent E; Schwartz, Michael W
July 2003
Nature Neuroscience;Jul2003, Vol. 6 Issue 7, p655
Academic Journal
Obesity and its comorbid illnesses are a leading world health concern for which few effective treatments exist. Obesity is increasingly viewed as a disorder of energy homeostasis, a regulatory process that involves hormones such as insulin and leptin that circulate at levels proportionate to body fat content and act on neurons in the hypothalamus and elsewhere to reduce food intake and body fat stores. Among hypothalamic systems, melanocortin pathway is critical in the control of body fat content. Consequently, interventions that reduce body adiposity, and hence, lower plasma leptin levels, such as a calorie-restricted diet, are hypothesized to stimulate the drive to eat, in part, by inhibiting pro-opiome-lanocortin neurons and by activating neuropeptide Y⁄agouti-related peptide neurons, a combination that decreases hypothalamic melanocortin signaling.


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