• Open Access

Therapeutic potential of neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptor ligands



Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is widely distributed in the human body and contributes to a vast number of physiological processes. Since its discovery, NPY has been implicated in metabolic regulation and, although interest in its role in central mechanisms related to food intake and obesity has somewhat diminished, the topic remains a strong focus of research concerning NPY signalling. In addition, a number of other uses for modulators of NPY receptors have been implied in a range of diseases, although the development of NPY receptor ligands has been slow, with no clinically approved receptor therapeutics currently available. Nevertheless, several interesting small molecule compounds, notably Y2 receptor antagonists, have been published recently, fueling optimism in the field. Herein we review the role of NPY in the pathophysiology of a number of diseases and highlight instances where NPY receptor signalling systems are attractive therapeutic targets.