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Nat Med. 2010 Apr;16(4):392-5. doi: 10.1038/nm0410-392.

Neuronal regulation of homeostasis by nutrient sensing.

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  • 1Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. tony.lam@uhnres.utoronto.ca

Abstract

In type 2 diabetes and obesity, the homeostatic control of glucose and energy balance is impaired, leading to hyperglycemia and hyperphagia. Recent studies indicate that nutrient-sensing mechanisms in the body activate negative-feedback systems to regulate energy and glucose homeostasis through a neuronal network. Direct metabolic signaling within the intestine activates gut-brain and gut-brain-liver axes to regulate energy and glucose homeostasis, respectively. In parallel, direct metabolism of nutrients within the hypothalamus regulates food intake and blood glucose levels. These findings highlight the importance of the central nervous system in mediating the ability of nutrient sensing to maintain homeostasis. Futhermore, they provide a physiological and neuronal framework by which enhancing or restoring nutrient sensing in the intestine and the brain could normalize energy and glucose homeostasis in diabetes and obesity.

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