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Curr Drug Targets. 2005 Mar;6(2):181-9.

Pancreatic amylin as a centrally acting satiating hormone.

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Institute of Veterinary Physiology, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


This review summarizes the present knowledge concerning the anorectic action of the pancreatic hormone amylin. It focuses mainly on the role of amylin as a short term satiating peptide. Since there is some evidence however that basal amylin levels might play a role in the long term control of food intake and/or body weight, this aspect will be discussed briefly towards the end of this review. Concerning amylin as a satiating hormone, it is well established that amylin is released during meals, and that exogenous amylin leads to a dose-related reduction in meal size. Amylin has a rapid onset and brief duration of action. The area postrema (AP) plays a predominant role in peripheral amylin's satiating effect, involving a direct activation of AP neurons by blood-borne amylin. The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) relays this effect to higher brain structures, the lateral parabrachial nucleus, and possibly the central nucleus of the amygdala and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Amylin's anorectic effect may in part be due to reduced expression of orexigenic neuropeptides in the lateral hypothalamic area. The anorectic action of amylin is one important factor in amylin's overall role to control the influx of nutrients into the circulation. By reducing food intake, gastric acid secretion, limiting the rate of gastric emptying and diminishing pancreatic glucagon and digestive enzyme secretion, amylin regulates nutrient appearance and postprandial glucose concentration. Amylin seems to be a necessary and complementary factor to insulin, which regulates the rate of nutrient disappearance. In this sense, amylin and insulin are adjunct players in the control of nutrient fluxes, and amylin's role to control feeding is a pivotal factor in this regard.

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