Neuropeptide Y: a key molecule in anorexia and cachexia in wasting disorders?

Mol Med Today. 1999 Feb;5(2):79-85. doi: 10.1016/s1357-4310(98)01395-1.


Anorexia and body weight loss are characteristic of many diseases, including cancer and AIDS. Recent studies indicate that inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1, the interleukin 6 subfamily and tumor necrosis factor, induce anorexia and cachexia by inhibiting the normal adaptive feeding response to energy deficits. Here, I discuss the evidence for and against a central role for neuropeptide Y and leptin in anorexia and cachexia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anorexia / etiology*
  • Appetite
  • Cachexia / etiology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Neuropeptide Y / physiology*
  • Syndrome
  • Wasting Syndrome / etiology*


  • Cytokines
  • Neuropeptide Y