The Role of Neuropeptide Y and Peptide YY in the Development of Obesity via Gut-brain Axis

Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2019;20(7):750-758. doi: 10.2174/1389203720666190125105401.


Obesity is one of the main challenges of public health in the 21st century. Obesity can induce a series of chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and nonalcoholic fatty liver, which seriously affect human health. Gut-brain axis, the two-direction pathway formed between enteric nervous system and central nervous system, plays a vital role in the occurrence and development of obesity. Gastrointestinal signals are projected through the gut-brain axis to nervous system, and respond to various gastrointestinal stimulation. The central nervous system regulates visceral activity through the gut-brain axis. Brain-gut peptides have important regulatory roles in the gut-brain axis. The brain-gut peptides of the gastrointestinal system and the nervous system regulate the gastrointestinal movement, feeling, secretion, absorption and other complex functions through endocrine, neurosecretion and paracrine to secrete peptides. Both neuropeptide Y and peptide YY belong to the pancreatic polypeptide family and are important brain-gut peptides. Neuropeptide Y and peptide YY have functions that are closely related to appetite regulation and obesity formation. This review describes the role of the gutbrain axis in regulating appetite and maintaining energy balance, and the functions of brain-gut peptides neuropeptide Y and peptide YY in obesity. The relationship between NPY and PYY and the interaction between the NPY-PYY signaling with the gut microbiota are also described in this review.

Keywords: Gut-brain axis; brain-gut peptide; gut microbiota; neuropeptide Y; obesity; peptide YY..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Neuropeptide Y / metabolism*
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Peptide YY / metabolism*


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Peptide YY