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Eat Weight Disord. 2008 Sep;13(3):e61-6.

Neuroendocrine and autonomic control of metabolic functions: recent advances.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Chemotherapy, Toxicology, University of Milan, 20129 Milan, Italy. eugenio.muller@unimi.it


Many studies have been prompted in the last few years aimed at clarifying and disentangle the different components involved in the control of metabolism and body weight. Based on a host of neuroanatomic, immunohistochemical and physiological findings, it is now clear that the hypothalamus is activated or deactivated by a series of afferent signals either hormonal or neural originated by peripheral tissues, which reflect changes in the global energy state. These hormonal and neural signals mainly stem from the adipose tissue, which is now considered a true endocrine organ, and, alternatively, by the gastrointestinal tract, in relation to fasting, feeding or refeeding conditions, and are vehicled to the brain where they act on receptors of an increasing family of first and second order peptides. This contribution at first presents the key elements of the complex mechanisms of control of metabolism and body weight, and then reports on recent presented advances in neuroendocrine and autonomic regulation of metabolic functions.

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