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Nat Neurosci. 2016 Feb;19(2):206-19. doi: 10.1038/nn.4202.

Melanocortin-4 receptor-regulated energy homeostasis.

Author information

1
Diabetes, Endocrinology and Obesity Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
2
National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
3
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
4
Centre for Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

The melanocortin system provides a conceptual blueprint for the central control of energetic state. Defined by four principal molecular components--two antagonistically acting ligands and two cognate receptors--this phylogenetically conserved system serves as a prototype for hierarchical energy balance regulation. Over the last decade the application of conditional genetic techniques has facilitated the neuroanatomical dissection of the melanocortinergic network and identified the specific neural substrates and circuits that underscore the regulation of feeding behavior, energy expenditure, glucose homeostasis and autonomic outflow. In this regard, the melanocortin-4 receptor is a critical coordinator of mammalian energy homeostasis and body weight. Drawing on recent advances in neuroscience and genetic technologies, we consider the structure and function of the melanocortin-4 receptor circuitry and its role in energy homeostasis.

PMID:
26814590
PMCID:
PMC5244821
DOI:
10.1038/nn.4202
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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