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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010 Mar 25;316(2):120-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2009.06.010. Epub 2009 Jun 27.

The role of gut hormones in the regulation of body weight and energy homeostasis.

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Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University College London, London, United Kingdom.


Obesity is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century with 1.6 billion adults currently classified as being overweight and 400 million as obese. Obesity is causally associated with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obstructive sleep apnoea and certain forms of cancer and is now one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. The gastrointestinal tract is the largest endocrine organ in the body producing hormones that have important sensing and signaling roles in regulating body weight and energy expenditure. The last decade has witnessed a marked increase in our understanding of the role of gut hormones in energy homeostasis. Consequently, strategies aimed at modulating circulating gut hormone concentrations or targeting their receptors are being developed as potential pharmacotherapies for obesity. This review summarizes the current knowledge regarding the mechanisms, sites of action and effects of the anorectic gut hormones peptide tyrosine-tyrosine (PYY), pancreatic polypeptide (PP), oxyntomodulin, and amylin and of the unique orexigenic hormone, ghrelin.

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