The process of energy homeostasis is a highly regulated process involving interacting signals between a variety of anorexigenic and orexigenic peptides, proteins and signaling molecules. The melanocortin system is an important component of this complex regulatory network. Involvement of the melanocortin pathway in the control of food intake and body weight regulation has been studied extensively in the past two decades. Previous studies that involve central administration of melanocortin molecules and examination of molecules that effect food intake in melanocortin knockout (KO) mice (MC3R, MC4R, POMC, AGRP and NPY) have been examined. In this review, we have summarized feeding studies that have resulted in the recognition of the melanocortin system as a major contributor to the complex neuroendocrine system regulating energy homeostasis.
- Food intake