Title

Participation of the central melanocortin system in metabolic regulation and energy homeostasis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Journal

Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

Volume

71

Issue

19

DOI

10.1007/s00018-014-1650-z

Keywords

Agouti-related peptide; Energy balance; Hypothalamus; Leptin; Melanocortin pathway; Neuropeptide Y; Posttranslational modification; Pro-opiomelanocortin; Transcription factors

Abstract

© 2014 Springer Basel. Obesity and metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension, have attracted considerable attention as life-threatening diseases not only in developed countries but also worldwide. Additionally, the rate of obesity in young people all over the world is rapidly increasing. Accumulated evidence suggests that the central nervous system may participate in the development of and/or protection from obesity. For example, in the brain, the hypothalamic melanocortin system senses and integrates central and peripheral metabolic signals and controls the degree of energy expenditure and feeding behavior, in concert with metabolic status, to regulate whole-body energy homeostasis. Currently, researchers are studying the mechanisms by which peripheral metabolic molecules control feeding behavior and energy balance through the central melanocortin system. Accordingly, recent studies have revealed that some inflammatory molecules and transcription factors participate in feeding behavior and energy balance by controlling the central melanocortin pathway, and have thus become new candidates as therapeutic targets to fight metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

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