Gut hormone PYY3-36 physiologically inhibits food intake

Rachel L. Batterham, Michael A. Cowley, Caroline J. Small, Herbert Herzog, Mark A. Cohen, Catherine L. Dakin, Alison M. Wren, Audrey E. Brynes, Malcolm J. Low, Mohammad A. Ghatei, Roger D. Cone, Stephen R. Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1927 Citations (Scopus)


Food intake is regulated by the hypothalamus, including the melanocortin and neuropeptide Y (NPY) systems in the arcuate nucleus. The NPY Y2 receptor (Y2R), a putative inhibitory presynaptic receptor, is highly expressed on NPY neurons in the arcuate nucleus, which is accessible to peripheral hormones. Peptide YY3-36 (PYY3-36), a Y2R agonist, is released from the gastrointestinal tract postprandially in proportion to the calorie content of a meal. Here we show that peripheral injection of PYY3-36 in rats inhibits food intake and reduces weight gain. PYY3-36 also inhibits food intake in mice but not in Y2r-null mice, which suggests that the anorectic effect requires the Y2R. Peripheral administration of PYY3-36 increases c-Fos immunoreactivity in the arcuate nucleus and decreases hypothalamic Npy messenger RNA. Intra-arcuate injection of PYY3-36 inhibits food intake. PYY3-36 also inhibits electrical activity of NPY nerve terminals, thus activating adjacent pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. In humans, infusion of normal postprandial concentrations of PYY3-36 significantly decreases appetite and reduces food intake by 33% over 24h. Thus, postprandial elevation of PYY3-36 may act through the arcuate nucleus Y2R to inhibit feeding in a gut-hypothalamic pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-654
Number of pages5
Issue number6898
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2002

Cite this