Wired on sugar: the role of the CNS in the regulation of glucose homeostasis

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Jan;14(1):24-37. doi: 10.1038/nrn3409. Epub 2012 Dec 12.


Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)--disorders of energy homeostasis and glucose homeostasis, respectively--are tightly linked and the incidences of both conditions are increasing in parallel. The CNS integrates information regarding peripheral nutrient and hormonal changes and processes this information to regulate energy homeostasis. Recent findings indicate that some of the neural circuits and mechanisms underlying energy balance are also essential for the regulation of glucose homeostasis. We propose that disruption of these overlapping pathways links the metabolic disturbances associated with obesity and T2DM. A better understanding of these converging mechanisms may lead to therapeutic strategies that target both T2DM and obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Glucose