Peptides in the mammalian hypothalamus did not lead to the identification of neuroendocrine hormones that control body weight, and endocrine factors that potently stimulate body fat loss have since remained unknown.
For the first time, researchers have found a hormone in the brain that stimulates fat metabolism. Biologists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in San Diego made the discovery, which could affect future development of fat-burning drugs. Their findings were published in Nature Communications.
The central nervous system plays a critical role in regulating energy balance and body fat stores, distinct from its effects on feeding behaviour. Researcher reported FLP-7 and NPR-22 function together as a ligand-receptor pair and define a conserved signalling pathway with an unexpected role in fat metabolism. They also reported that the FLP-7 peptide is secreted from neurons, and acts in the intestine via the tachykinin 2 receptor orthologue NPR-22 to mobilize fat stores body fat loss in Caenorhabditis elegans.
This research will help in identifying novel and selective neuroendocrine factors that underlie the central control of body fat metabolism.
Source: Nat. Commun. 8,14237 doi: 10.1038/ncomms14237 (2017), http://now.howstuffworks.com/