Neuropeptides, food intake and body weight regulation: a hypothalamic focus

Peptides. 2002 Dec;23(12):2283-306. doi: 10.1016/s0196-9781(02)00269-3.


Energy homeostasis is controlled by a complex neuroendocrine system consisting of peripheral signals like leptin and central signals, in particular, neuropeptides. Several neuropeptides with anorexigenic (POMC, CART, and CRH) as well as orexigenic (NPY, AgRP, and MCH) actions are involved in this complex (partly redundant) controlling system. Starvation as well as overfeeding lead to changes in expression levels of these neuropeptides, which act downstream of leptin, resulting in a physiological response. In this review the role of several anorexigenic and orexigenic (hypothalamic) neuropeptides on food intake and body weight regulation is summarized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Hypothalamus / physiology*
  • Insulin / physiology
  • Leptin / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neuropeptides / physiology*


  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Neuropeptides