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Nutrition. 2008 Apr;24(4):348-59. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2007.12.006. Epub 2008 Feb 8.

Autoantibodies against appetite-regulating peptide hormones and neuropeptides: putative modulation by gut microflora.

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1
Digestive System and Nutrition Laboratory (ADEN EA3234), Institute of Biomedical Research, Rouen University and Hospital, IFRMP23, Rouen, France. Serguei.Fetissov@univ-rouen.fr

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Peptide hormones synthesized in gastrointestinal and adipose tissues in addition to neuropeptides regulate appetite and body weight. Previously, autoantibodies directed against melanocortin peptides were found in patients with eating disorders; however, it remains unknown whether autoantibodies directed against other appetite-regulating peptides are present in human sera and whether their levels are influenced by gut-related antigens.

METHODS:

Healthy women were studied for the presence of immunoglobulin (Ig) G and IgA autoantibodies directed against 14 key appetite-regulating peptides. The concept of molecular mimicry was applied to search in silico whether bacteria, viruses, or fungi contain proteins with amino acid sequences identical to appetite-regulating peptides. In addition, autoantibodies serum levels were studied in germ-free and specific pathogen-free rats.

RESULTS:

We found these IgG and IgA autoantibodies directed against leptin, ghrelin, peptide YY, neuropeptide Y, and other appetite-regulating peptides are present in human sera at levels of 100-900 ng/mL. Numerous cases of sequence homology with these peptides were identified among commensal and pathogenic micro-organisms including Lactobacilli, bacteroides, Helicobacter pylori, Escherichia coli, and Candida species. Decreased levels of IgA autoantibodies directed against several appetite-regulating peptides and increased levels of antighrelin IgG were found in germ-free rats compared with specific pathogen-free rats.

CONCLUSION:

Healthy humans and rats display autoantibodies directed against appetite-regulating peptide hormones and neuropeptides, suggesting that these autoantibodies may have physiologic implications in hunger and satiety pathways. Gut-related antigens including the intestinal microflora may influence production of theses autoantibodies, suggesting a new link between the gut and appetite control.

PMID:
18262391
DOI:
10.1016/j.nut.2007.12.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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