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Food intake involves issues around the ingestion of food. This would include choices about what and how much to eat, and the feeding practices used.

Many animals have evolved to take in particular types of food and can be classified by their diets (See list of vores for complete list) but the main grouups are:

Neurophysiology of food intakeEdit

Hypothalmus and contol of food intakeEdit

The extreme lateral part of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus is responsible for the control of food intake. Stimulation of this area causes increased food intake. Bilateral lesion of this area causes complete cessation of food intake. Medial parts of the nucleus have a controlling effect on the lateral part. Bilateral lesion of the medial part of the ventromedial nucleus causes hyperphagia and obesity of the animal. Further lesion of the lateral part of the ventromedial nucleus in the same animal produces complete cessation of food intake.

There are different hypotheses related to this regulation:[1]

  1. Lipostatic hypothesis - this hypothesis holds that adipose tissue produces a humoral signal that is proportionate to the amount of fat and acts on the hypothalamus to decrease food intake and increase energy output. It has been evident that a hormone leptin acts on the hypothalamus to decrease food intake and increase energy output.
  2. Gutpeptide hypothesis - gastrointestinal hormones like Grp, glucagons, CCK and others claimed to inhibit food intake. The food entering the gastrointestinal tract triggers the release of these hormones which acts on the brain to produce satiety. The brain contains both CCK-A and CCK-B receptors.
  3. Glucostatic hypothesis - the activity of the satiety center in the ventromedial nuclei is probably governed by the glucose utilization in the neurons. It has been postulated that when their glucose utilization is low and consequently when the arteriovenous blood glucose difference across them is low, the activity across the neurons decrease. Under these conditions, the activity of the feeding center is unchecked and the individual feels hungry. Food intake is rapidly increased by intraventricular administration of 2-deoxyglucose therefore decreasing glucose utilization in cells.
  4. Thermostatic hypothesis - according to this hypothesis, a decrease in body temperature below a given set point stimulates appetite, while an increase above the set point inhibits appetite.


The role of Neuropeptide Y in food intakeEdit

Behaviorial assays in orexigenic studies, in which rats are the model organism, have been done collectively with immunoassays and in situ hybridization studies to confirm that NPYergic activity does indeed increase food intake. In these studies, exogenous NPY,[2] an NPY agonist such as dexamethasone[3] or N-acetyl [Leu 28, Leu31] NPY (24-36)[4] are injected into the third ventricle[5] or at the level of the hypothalamus with a cannula.[6][7]

Furthermore, these studies unanimously demonstrate that the stimulation of NPYergic activity via the administration of certain NPY agonists increases food intake compared to baseline data in rats. The effects of NPYergic activity on food intake is also demonstrated by the blockade of certain NPY receptors (Y1 and Y5 receptors), which expectedly inhibited NPYergic activity; thus, decreases food intake. However, a 1999 study by King et al demonstrated the effects of the activation of the NPY autoreceptor Y2, which has been shown to inhibit the release of NPY and thus acts to regulate food intake upon its activation.[8] In this study a highly selective Y2 antagonist, BIIE0246 was administered locally into the ARC. Radioimmunoassay data, following the injection of BIIE0246, shows a significant increase in NPY release compared to the control group. Though the pharmacological half-life of exogenous NPY, other agonists, and antagonist is still obscure, the effects are not long lasting and the rat body employs an excellent ability to regulate and normalize abnormal NPY levels and therefore food consumption.[9]

Orexin and food intakeEdit

Orexin increases the craving for food, and correlates with the function of the substances that promote its production.

Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells and acts as a long-term internal measure of energy state. Ghrelin is a short-term factor secreted by the stomach just before an expected meal, and strongly promotes food intake.

Hypocretin-producing cells have recently been shown to be inhibited by leptin (by leptin receptors), but are activated by ghrelin and hypoglycemia (glucose inhibits orexin production). Orexin/hypocretin, as of 2007, is claimed to be a very important link between metabolism and sleep regulation. Such a relationship has been long suspected, based on the observation that long-term sleep deprivation in rodents dramatically increases food intake and energy metabolism, i.e., catabolism, with lethal consequences on a long-term basis.


Clinical disturbances of food intakeEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Theologides A (1976). Anorexia-producing intermediary metabolites. Am J Clin Nutr 29 (5): 552–8.
  2. Hanson ES, Dallman MF (April 1995). Neuropeptide Y (NPY) may integrate responses of hypothalamic feeding systems and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. J. Neuroendocrinol. 7 (4): 273–9.
  3. White BD, Dean RG, Edwards GL, Martin RJ (May 1994). Type II corticosteroid receptor stimulation increases NPY gene expression in basomedial hypothalamus of rats. Am. J. Physiol. 266 (5 Pt 2): R1523–9.
  4. King PJ, Widdowson PS, Doods HN, Williams G (August 1999). Regulation of neuropeptide Y release by neuropeptide Y receptor ligands and calcium channel antagonists in hypothalamic slices. J. Neurochem. 73 (2): 641–6.
  5. Hanson ES, Dallman MF (April 1995). Neuropeptide Y (NPY) may integrate responses of hypothalamic feeding systems and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. J. Neuroendocrinol. 7 (4): 273–9.
  6. White BD, Dean RG, Edwards GL, Martin RJ (May 1994). Type II corticosteroid receptor stimulation increases NPY gene expression in basomedial hypothalamus of rats. Am. J. Physiol. 266 (5 Pt 2): R1523–9.
  7. Pomonis JD, Levine AS, Billington CJ (July 1997). Interaction of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and central nucleus of the amygdala in naloxone blockade of neuropeptide Y-induced feeding revealed by c-fos expression. J. Neurosci. 17 (13): 5175–82.
  8. King PJ, Williams G, Doods H, Widdowson PS (May 2000). Effect of a selective neuropeptide Y Y(2) receptor antagonist, BIIE0246 on neuropeptide Y release. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 396 (1): R1–3.
  9. Hanson ES, Dallman MF (April 1995). Neuropeptide Y (NPY) may integrate responses of hypothalamic feeding systems and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. J. Neuroendocrinol. 7 (4): 273–9.

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