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Arch Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Apr;60(2):152-62. doi: 10.1590/2359-3997000000129. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Determinants of body weight regulation in humans.

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Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.
Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.
Departamento de Cirurgia, HCPA, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil.


Body weight is regulated by the ability of hypothalamic neurons to orchestrate behavioral, endocrine and autonomic responses via afferent and efferent pathways to the brainstem and the periphery. Weight maintenance requires a balance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Although several components that participate in energy homeostasis have been identified, there is a need to know in more detail their actions as well as their interactions with environmental and psychosocial factors in the development of human obesity. In this review, we examine the role of systemic mediators such as leptin, ghrelin and insulin, which act in the central nervous system by activating or inhibiting neuropeptide Y, Agouti-related peptide protein, melanocortin, transcript related to cocaine and amphetamine, and others. As a result, modifications in energy homeostasis occur through regulation of appetite and energy expenditure. We also examine compensatory changes in the circulating levels of several peripheral hormones after diet-induced weight loss.

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