The role of the central melanocortin system in the regulation of food intake and energy homeostasis: lessons from mouse models.

Ellacott KL, Cone RD
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2006 361 (1471): 1265-74

PMID: 16815803 · PMCID: PMC1642695 · DOI:10.1098/rstb.2006.1861

A little more than a decade ago, the molecular basis of the lipostat was largely unknown. At that time, many laboratories were at work attempting to clone the genes encoding the obesity, diabetes, fatty, tubby and agouti loci, with the hope that identification of these obesity genes would help shed light on the process of energy homeostasis, appetite and energy expenditure. Characterization of obesity and diabetes elucidated the nature of the adipostatic hormone leptin and its receptor, respectively, while cloning of the agouti gene eventually led to the identification and characterization of one of the key neural systems upon which leptin acts to regulate intake and expenditure. In this review, we describe the neural circuitry known as the central melanocortin system and discuss the current understanding of its role in feeding and other processes involved in energy homeostasis.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Energy Metabolism Feeding Behavior Homeostasis Melanocortins Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones Mice Models, Animal

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