Neuropeptides controlling energy balance: Orexins and neuromedins

Joshua P. Nixon, Catherine M. Kotz, Colleen M. Novak, Charles J. Billington, Jennifer A Teske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this chapter, we review the feeding and energy expenditure effects of orexin (also known as hypocretin) and neuromedin. Orexins are multifunctional neuropeptides that affect energy balance by participating in regulation of appetite, arousal, and spontaneous physical activity. Central orexin signaling for all functions originates in the lateral hypothalamus-perifornical area and is likely functionally differentiated based on site of action and on interacting neural influences. The effect of orexin on feeding is likely related to arousal in some ways but is nonetheless a separate neural process that depends on interactions with other feeding-related neuropeptides. In a pattern distinct from other neuropeptides, orexin stimulates both feeding and energy expenditure. Orexin increases in energy expenditure are mainly by increasing spontaneous physical activity, and this energy expenditure effect is more potent than the effect on feeding. Global orexin manipulations, such as in transgenic models, produce energy balance changes consistent with a dominant energy expenditure effect of orexin. Neuromedins are gut-brain peptides that reduce appetite. There are gut sources of neuromedin, but likely the key appetite-related neuromedin-producing neurons are in the hypothalamus and parallel other key anorectic neuropeptide expression in the arcuate to paraventricular hypothalamic projection. As with other hypothalamic feeding-related peptides, hindbrain sites are likely also important sources and targets of neuromedin anorectic action. Neuromedin increases physical activity in addition to reducing appetite, thus producing a consistent negative energy balance effect. Together with the other various neuropeptides, neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and neurohormones, neuromedin and orexin act in the appetite network to produce changes in food intake and energy expenditure, which ultimately influences the regulation of body weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-109
Number of pages33
JournalHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Volume209
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Energy balance
Neuropeptides
Energy Metabolism
Appetite
Neurotransmitter Agents
Appetite Depressants
Arousal
Lateral Hypothalamic Area
Appetite Regulation
Rhombencephalon
Peptides
Hypothalamus
Neurons
Orexins
Brain
Eating
Body Weight

Keywords

  • Brain
  • Feeding
  • Obesity
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

Neuropeptides controlling energy balance : Orexins and neuromedins. / Nixon, Joshua P.; Kotz, Catherine M.; Novak, Colleen M.; Billington, Charles J.; Teske, Jennifer A.

In: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, Vol. 209, 2012, p. 77-109.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nixon, Joshua P. ; Kotz, Catherine M. ; Novak, Colleen M. ; Billington, Charles J. ; Teske, Jennifer A. / Neuropeptides controlling energy balance : Orexins and neuromedins. In: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology. 2012 ; Vol. 209. pp. 77-109.
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