A hormone involved in the neural control of feeding might also be linked to stress-induced obesity, suggests a paper in the July issue of Nature Medicine.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) acts on the brain to drive the urge to eat. Zofia Zukowska and colleagues found that NPY from peripheral nerves can also act directly on adipose tissue, making mice obese in response to physical or emotional stress. This effect seemed to depend on the release of another well-characterized stress hormone -- cortisol.
Importantly, blocking the receptor for NPY on fat cells prevented the weight gain, pointing to a possible target to oppose this negative side effect of stress.
Zofia Zukowska (Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
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