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The Role of the Central Melanocortin System in the Regulation of Food Intake and Energy Homeostasis: Lessons from Mouse Models

Kate L. J. Ellacott and Roger D. Cone
Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences
Vol. 361, No. 1471, Appetite (Jul. 29, 2006), pp. 1265-1274
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20209718
Page Count: 10
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The Role of the Central Melanocortin System in the Regulation of Food Intake and Energy Homeostasis: Lessons from Mouse Models
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Abstract

A little more than a decade ago, the molecular basis of the lipostat was largely unknown. At that time, many laboratories were at work attempting to clone the genes encoding the obesity, diabetes, fatty, tubby and agouti loci, with the hope that identification of these obesity genes would help shed light on the process of energy homeostasis, appetite and energy expenditure. Characterization of obesity and diabetes elucidated the nature of the adipostatic hormone leptin and its receptor, respectively, while cloning of the agouti gene eventually led to the identification and characterization of one of the key neural systems upon which leptin acts to regulate intake and expenditure. In this review, we describe the neural circuitry known as the central melanocortin system and discuss the current understanding of its role in feeding and other processes involved in energy homeostasis.

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