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J Mol Neurosci. 2012 Nov;48(3):654-9. Epub 2012 May 13.

Role of neurotrophins in the development and function of neural circuits that regulate energy homeostasis.

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  • 1Fishberg Department of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Members of the neurotrophin family, including nerve growth factor, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neurotrophin-3, and neurotrophin-4/5, and other neurotrophic growth factors such as ciliary neurotrophic factor and artemin, regulate peripheral and central nervous system development and function. A subset of the neurotrophin-dependent pathways in the hypothalamus, brainstem, and spinal cord, and those that project via the sympathetic nervous system to peripheral metabolic tissues including brown and white adipose tissue, muscle and liver, regulate feeding, energy storage, and energy expenditure. We briefly review the role that neurotrophic growth factors play in energy balance, as regulators of neuronal survival and differentiation, neurogenesis, and circuit formation and function, and as inducers of critical gene products that control energy homeostasis.

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