Amylin: Pharmacology, Physiology, and Clinical Potential

Pharmacol Rev. 2015 Jul;67(3):564-600. doi: 10.1124/pr.115.010629.


Amylin is a pancreatic β-cell hormone that produces effects in several different organ systems. Here, we review the literature in rodents and in humans on amylin research since its discovery as a hormone about 25 years ago. Amylin is a 37-amino-acid peptide that activates its specific receptors, which are multisubunit G protein-coupled receptors resulting from the coexpression of a core receptor protein with receptor activity-modifying proteins, resulting in multiple receptor subtypes. Amylin's major role is as a glucoregulatory hormone, and it is an important regulator of energy metabolism in health and disease. Other amylin actions have also been reported, such as on the cardiovascular system or on bone. Amylin acts principally in the circumventricular organs of the central nervous system and functionally interacts with other metabolically active hormones such as cholecystokinin, leptin, and estradiol. The amylin-based peptide, pramlintide, is used clinically to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Clinical studies in obesity have shown that amylin agonists could also be useful for weight loss, especially in combination with other agents.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide / metabolism*
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide / pharmacology
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide / therapeutic use
  • Weight Loss / drug effects


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • pramlintide