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Current Opinion in Gastroenterology:
doi: 10.1097/01.mog.0000245537.43142.63
Stomach and duodenum

Regulation of food intake by gastrointestinal hormones

Baynes, Kevin CR; Dhillo, Waljit S; Bloom, Stephen R

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Abstract

Purpose of review: Complex physiological mechanisms have evolved to control food intake in mammals, which in health ensure the relative stability of body weight in adults. Central brain centres, gut-derived peptides and adipose-derived signals result in an integrative response to defend against starvation. Enteroendocrine cells throughout the gut and pancreas secrete a number of peptides with activity on gut motility, gut secretions and appetite. Understanding the interactions between different gut peptides has produced a rewardingly active research field with many unanswered questions.

Recent findings: Many gut peptides are now in translational research programmes to investigate their potential in human physiology and disease. Ghrelin has been shown in short-term human studies to both increase appetite and body weight. Oxyntomodulin has been shown to reduce weight and food intake in a 4 week study in humans. Anorectic activity of peptide YY3-36 has been confirmed in a number of animal models. Obestatin has been identified as a novel gut peptide. Increasing evidence points to the effect of gastric-bypass surgery on body weight, including alteration of gut peptide activity.

Summary: Gut peptides, or gut-peptide mimetics, show great promise for use as therapeutic agents for the treatment of obesity and cachexia.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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