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Diabetes. 2002 Feb;51(2):271-5.

Central administration of oleic acid inhibits glucose production and food intake.

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Departments of Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology, Diabetes Research and Training Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.


The hypothalamus and other regions within the central nervous system (CNS) link the sensing of nutrients to the control of metabolism and feeding behavior. Here, we report that intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of the long-chain fatty acid oleic acid markedly inhibits glucose production and food intake. The anorectic effect of oleic acid was independent of leptin and was accompanied by a decrease in the hypothalamic expression of neuropeptide Y. The short-chain fatty acid octanoic acid failed to reproduce the metabolic effects of oleic acid, and ICV coadministration of inhibitors of ATP-sensitive K(+) channels blunted the effect of oleic acid on glucose production. This is the first demonstration that fatty acids can signal nutrient availability to the CNS, which in turn limits further delivery of nutrients to the circulation.

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