CART peptides: regulators of body weight, reward and other functions

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 Oct;9(10):747-58. doi: 10.1038/nrn2493.


Over the past decade or so, CART (cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript) peptides have emerged as major neurotransmitters and hormones. CART peptides are widely distributed in the CNS and are involved in regulating many processes, including food intake and the maintenance of body weight, reward and endocrine functions. Recent studies have produced a wealth of information about the location, regulation, processing and functions of CART peptides, but additional studies aimed at elucidating the physiological effects of the peptides and at characterizing the CART receptor(s) are needed to take advantage of possible therapeutic applications.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / genetics
  • Affective Symptoms / metabolism
  • Affective Symptoms / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Appetite Regulation / physiology*
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Central Nervous System / anatomy & histology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Reward*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript protein