The gut-brain axis in obesity
H. Buhmann; C. W. le Roux; M. Bueter
Year of publication
Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol
Currently the only effective treatment for morbid obesity with a proven mortality benefit is surgical intervention. The underlying mechanisms of these surgical techniques are unclear, but alterations in circulating gut hormone levels have been demonstrated to be at least one contributing factor. Gut hormones seem to communicate information from the gastrointestinal tract to the regulatory appetite centres within the central nervous system (CNS) via the so-called 'Gut-Brain-Axis'. Such information may be transferred to the CNS either via vagal or non-vagal afferent nerve signalling or directly via blood circulation. Complex neural networks, distributed throughout the forebrain and brainstem, are in control of feeding and energy homoeostasis. This article aims to review how appetite is potentially regulated by these gastrointestinal hormones. Identification of the underlying mechanisms of appetite and weight control may pave the way to develop better surgical techniques and new therapies in the future.