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Kalra Satya P. PhD; Kalra, Pushpa S. PhD†
Current Opinion in Endocrinology and Diabetes: April 1996
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Ever since the hypothalamus was implicated in the control of feeding behavior and obesity in the early 1950s, a search has been on for a hypothalamic signal or signals that specifically encode the sensation and experience of hunger. This past decade has witnessed important developments showing that hypothalamic neuropeptide Y may be the long-sought transducer of appetite. This review summarizes the results of critical experiments that document the neuropeptide Y neuronal system in the arcuate nucleus and in the paraventricular nucleus and surrounding regions as the final common pathway within the framework that integrates ingestive behavior and body weight gain. Basic and clinical research is now entering a new era with the development of specific neuropeptide Y receptor agonists and antagonists. These agents will not only contribute to the production of new antiobesity drugs but also reveal the intricate neural mechanisms that respond to external and internal factors underlying excessive weight loss in anorexia and wasting disorders caused by AIDS, malignancy, and brain injury.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.