Neural regulation of feeding is key to the control of body energy balance. Recent studies have identified multiple neural circuits that contribute to the control of homeostatic or hedonic feeding, with these circuits acting cooperatively to regulate feeding overall. Neuropeptide Y (NPY)-agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus appear to be primary and reciprocal regulators of homeostatic food intake. However, the central mechanisms underlying the regulation of nutrient intake remain largely unknown. 5′-Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an important molecule in the regulation of energy metabolism. We recently showed that AMPK-regulated corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus regulate the selection of carbohydrate over a more palatable diet. Here, I address key recent findings that have shed light on the homeostatic regulation of feeding including total calorie and macronutrient intake.
Part of the book: New Insights Into Metabolic Syndrome