Anorexigenic Peptides in Health and Disease


The regulation of satiety and body weight involves highly complex multiple interactions between the gastrointestinal tract, adipose tissue and central nervous system. Several neuropeptides released by hypothalamic neurons including corticotropin‐releasing factor, α‐melanocyte stimulating hormone, corticotropin, brain‐derived neurotrophic factor, cocaine‐ and amphetamine‐regulated transcript, neuropeptides B, neuropeptides W and nesfatin‐1; and gastrointestinal hormones including obestatin, pancreatic polypeptide, amylin, cholecystokinin, peptide YY, oxyntomodulin, glucagon‐like peptide‐1 are reviewed in this article, emphasising both their effects on regulating satiety, and their physiological roles in many systems.

The dysfunctions of anorexigenic peptides in those processes will result metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this review is also to consider the important roles of anorexigenic peptides including nesfatin‐1, obestatin, amylin and glucagon‐like peptide‐1 in obesity‐related pathophysiological conditions.

Key Concepts:

  • Satiety is the satisfied feeling of being full after eating. It refers to the inhibition of eating following a meal.

  • Neuropeptides released by hypothalamic neurons play a major role in the regulation of feeding such as CRF, melanocortins, BDNF, CART, neuropeptides B, neuropeptides W and nesfatin‐1.

  • Anorexigenic peptides released by gastrointestinal tract play a major role in the inhibition of food intake such as obestatin, pancreatic polypeptide, amylin, CCK, peptide YY, OXM and GLP‐1.

  • Obesity is the major contributor to cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders (type 1 or 2 diabetes) and various cancers.

  • Obesity predisposes humans some chronic diseases as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers or it shortens life duration and increases mortality rates.

  • Understanding the physiological and pathological roles of anorexigenic peptides in health and disease in humans will allow us to find potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of many disorders.

Keywords: Satiety; leptin; CRF; melanocortins; BDNF; CART; NPB; NPW; nesfatin‐1; obestatin; pancreatic polypeptide; amylin; CCK; peptide YY; OXM; GLP‐1; obesity; type 2 diabetes

Figure 1.

In human body, food intake and body weight are regulated by specific hypothalamic nuclei including the arcuate nucleus (ARC), dorsomedial nucleus (DMN), paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and ventromedial nucleus (VMN), lateral hypothalamus (LHA). ARC is the major target for regulation of food intake and contains two distinct neuronal subtypes expressing the anorexigenic neuropeptides (appetite decreasing) pro‐opiomelanocortin (POMC), and cocaine and amphetamine‐regulated transcript (CART) or expressing orexigenic neuropeptides (appetite stimulating) neuropeptide Y (NPY) and Agouti‐related protein (AgRP).



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Williams G and Frühbeck Gema (eds) (2009) Obesity: Science to Practice. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Caylak, Emrah(Jul 2012) Anorexigenic Peptides in Health and Disease. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0024165]