Gut peptides and other regulators in obesity

Matthew T. Scharf, Rexford S. Ahima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Obesity has reached epidemic levels in industrialized countries and is increasing worldwide. This trend has serious public health consequences, since obesity increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnea, cancer, arthritis, cholelithiasis, fatty liver disease, and other complications. Obesity is the result of an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure; hence, an understanding of how gastrointestinal function is integrated with the hormonal regulation of energy balance is pertinent to the pathophysiology of obesity. Nutrients, peptides, and neural afferents from the gut influence the size and frequency of meals and satiety. The long-term regulation of energy stores is mediated primarily through the actions of adiposity hormones, such as leptin and insulin, in the hypothalamus and other neuronal circuits in the brain. Efforts are underway to determine how these peripheral and central pathways may be targeted for treatment of obesity and related diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-347
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Liver Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiponectin
  • Adipose tissue
  • Cytokines
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Leptin
  • Nutrients
  • Obesity
  • Peptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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