Neuromedin U (NMU) is a brain-gut peptide whose peripheral activities are well-understood but whose central actions have yet to be clarified. The recent identification of two NMU receptors in rat brain has provided a springboard for further investigation into its role in the central nervous system. Intracerebroventricular administration of NMU to free-feeding rats decreased food intake and body weight. Conversely, NMU increased gross locomotor activity, body temperature, and heat production. NMU, a potent endogenous anorectic peptide, serves as a catabolic signaling molecule in the brain. Further investigation of the biochemical and physiological functions of NMU will help our better understanding of the mechanisms of energy homeostasis.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.