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Nat Med. 2004 Oct;10(10):1067-73. Epub 2004 Sep 26.

Neuromedin U has a novel anorexigenic effect independent of the leptin signaling pathway.

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Molecular Genetics, Institute of Life Science, Kurume University, Kurume, Fukuoka 839-0861, Japan.


Neuromedin U (NMU) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that regulates body weight and composition. Here we show that mice lacking the gene encoding NMU (Nmu(-/-) mice) develop obesity. Nmu(-/-) mice showed increased body weight and adiposity, hyperphagia, and decreased locomotor activity and energy expenditure. Obese Nmu(-/-) mice developed hyperleptinemia, hyperinsulinemia, late-onset hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. Notably, however, treatment with exogenous leptin was effective in reducing body weight in obese Nmu(-/-) mice. In addition, central leptin administration did not affect NMU gene expression in the hypothalamus of rats. These results indicate that NMU plays an important role in the regulation of feeding behavior and energy metabolism independent of the leptin signaling pathway. These characteristic functions of NMU may provide new insight for understanding the pathophysiological basis of obesity.

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