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Hypothalamic regulation of food intake and clinical therapeutic applications

Regulação hipotalâmica da ingestão alimentar e suas aplicações terapêuticas clínicas

Katherine Anne Simpson Niamh M. Martin Stephen R. Bloom About the authors

Current estimates suggest that over 1 billion people are overweight and over 300 million people are obese. Weight gain is due to an imbalance between energy expenditure and dietary intake. This review discusses the hypothalamic control of appetite and highlights key developments in research that have furthered our understanding of the complex pathways involved. Nuclei within the hypothalamus integrate peripheral signals such as adiposity and caloric intake to regulate important pathways within the central nervous system controlling food intake and energy expenditure. Firmly established pathways involve the orexigenic NPY/AgRP and the anorexigenic POMC/CART neurons in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus. These project from the ARC to other important hypothalamic nuclei, including the paraventricular, dorsomedial, ventromedial and lateral hypothalamic nuclei. In addition there are many projections to and from the brainstem, cortical areas and reward pathways, which modulate food intake.

Hypothalamus; obesity; appetite; arcuate nucleus; orlistat; sibutramine

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