Pilar Marcos* and Rafael Coveñas Pages 4026 - 4049 ( 24 )
Obesity leads to several metabolic disorders and, unfortunately, current pharmacological treatments for obesity are not very effective. In feeding mechanisms, the hypothalamus and some neuropeptides play an important role. Many data show that neuropeptide Y (NPY) is involved in these mechanisms. The aim of this review is to update the physiological actions mediated by the orexigenic peptide NPY, via its receptors, in the control of food intake and to review its involvement in food intake disorders. The relationships between NPY and other substances involved in food intake mechanisms, hypothalamic and extra-hypothalamic pathways involved in feeding and the potential pharmacological strategies to treat obesity will be discussed. Some research lines, focused on NPY, to be developed in the future are suggested. Neuropeptide systems are associated with redundancy and then therapies directed against a single target are generally ineffective. For this reason, other targets for the treatment of obesity are mentioned. It seems that combination therapies are the best option for successful anti-obesity treatments: new and more specific NPY receptor antagonists must be tested as anti-obesity drugs alone and in combination therapies.
Feeding, hyperphagia, NPY, NPY receptor, obesity, orexigenic peptide, single nucleotide polymorphisms.
Cellular Neuroanatomy and Molecular Chemistry of Central Nervous System, Faculty of Medicine, University of Castilla-La Mancha, CRIB (Regional Centre of Biomedical Research), Avenida de Almansa 14, 02006 Albacete, Institute of Neurosciences of Castilla y León (INCYL), Laboratory of Neuroanatomy of the Peptidergic Systems, Laboratory 14, University of Salamanca, c/ Pintor Fernando Gallego 1, 37007 Salamanca