Peptide could play a role in preventing binge eating, obesity

Shifting focus from the hypothalamus to the amygdala, investigators at Boston University say that an injection of a peptide and hormone reduced appetite in an experimental model, pointing to a new approach to treating obesity and binge eating. Administering pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP), a peptide and hormone produced by neurons, into the amygdala was very effective in reducing the amount of food eaten at mealtime, the BU team said. "We found that amygdalar PACAP reduces the amount of food eaten within meals, but not how many meals are consumed. In addition, we found that PACAP reduced the rate of intake of food. This means that, following administration of PACAP, models were eating more slowly," explained Valentina Sabino, an assistant professor of pharmacology and psychiatry, and co-director of the Laboratory of Addictive Disorder at Boston University School of Medicine. Release

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