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Mol Neurobiol. 2000 Aug-Dec;22(1-3):143-65.

Regulation of feeding-associated peptides and receptors by nicotine.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis 38163, USA.


Although numerous epidemiological studies have provided convincing evidence for the inverse association between tobacco smoking and body weight, the molecular mechanisms underlying this relationship are not well-understood. Nicotine, as a potent secretagogue, could be expected to influence the levels and expression of many classes of neurotransmitters, as well as of cell-membrane constituents linked to neurotransmission, including signal transducers and related effectors. A potentially major group of candidate molecules that could be involved in feeding-related actions of nicotine are the numerous neuropeptides and peptide hormones shown in the past two decades to regulate food intake and energy expenditure. These could include neuropeptide Y (NPY), orexins, leptins, and uncoupling proteins (UCPs). Some of these peptides were already shown to respond to nicotine treatment in terms of regulation of levels and of activity at the level of cell-membrane receptors. The primary objective of this review is to summarize our current understanding of the regulatory effects of nicotine on the food intake and energy expenditure as related to the expression levels of leptin, NPY, orexin, uncoupling proteins, and of NPY and orexin receptors.

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