Appetite regulation: neuroendocrine basis and clinical approaches
Palma JA, Iriarte J.
Departamento de Neurología y Neurocirugía, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Navarra, España; Laboratorio de Neurofisiología Clínica, Área de Neurociencias, Centro de Investigación Médica Aplicada, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Navarra, España.
The control of food intake and energy metabolism depends on the complex interaction between energy homeostasis, hedonic control of feeding, and environmental cues. Experimental research in animal models and also the clinical observation of patients with feeding disorders have led to an increased knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate appetite.
The hypothalamus is the key component of this network. Hypothalamic nuclei send to and receive signals from the insula, orbitofrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, dopaminergic reward system, and multiple chemical signals, including peptides and gastrointestinal hormones, to regulate feeding behavior.
Recent studies have provided insight into the complex interactions between the homeostatic and hedonic control of feeding behavior, sharing some neurobiological mechanisms with addictions. Identification of potential therapeutic targets will allow the development of useful drugs to treat feeding behavior disorders, such as obesity.
CITATION Med Clin (Barc). 2012 Jun 16;139(2):70-5. Epub 2012 Jan 16