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Neuroendocrinology. 2007;86(3):183-90. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Regulation of food intake by inflammatory cytokines in the brain.

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Laboratory of Integrative Immunology and Behaviour, Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


A number of inflammatory cytokines are synthesized and released after activation of the immune system. In addition to other biological effects, these cytokines can potently inhibit food intake. Cytokine-mediated inhibition of food intake is of particular importance because excessive production of peripheral inflammatory cytokines is often associated with the cachexia-anorexia syndrome seen in some chronic diseases. The weight loss in cachexia is associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality. Understanding how cytokines regulate food intake may be crucial in enhancing quality of life and facilitating recovery in patients exhibiting cachexia. This review describes the main inflammatory cytokines that influence food intake and explores how peripheral cytokines communicate with hypothalamic nuclei to influence feeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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