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Keywords:

  • Food intake;
  • hypothalamus;
  • nesfatin-1;
  • NUCB2

Summary

Nesfatin-1 was discovered in 2006 and introduced as a potential novel anorexigenic modulator of food intake and body weight. The past years have witnessed increasing evidence establishing nesfatin-1 as a potent physiological inhibitor of food intake and body weight and unravelled nesfatin-1's interaction with other brain transmitters to exert its food consumption inhibitory effect. As observed for other anorexigenic brain neuropeptides, nesfatin-1 is also likely to exert additional, if not pleiotropic, actions in the brain and periphery. Recent studies established the prominent expression of the nesfatin-1 precursor, nucleobindin2 (NUCB2), in the stomach and pancreas, where nesfatin-1 influences endocrine secretion. This review will highlight the current experimental state-of-knowledge on the effects of NUCB2/nesfatin-1 on food intake, body weight and glucose homeostasis. Potential implications in human obesity will be discussed in relation to the evidence of changes in circulating levels of NUCB2/nesfatin-1 in disease states, the occurrence of genetic NUCB2 polymorphisms and – in contrast to several other hormones – the independence of leptin signalling known to be blunted under conditions of chronically increased body weight.