Effects of GLP-1 on appetite and body weight: focus on the central nervous system.

van Bloemendaal, Liselotte; Ten Kulve, Jennifer S; la Fleur, Susanne E; Ijzerman, Richard G; Diamant, Michaela
The Journal of endocrinology; 2013 Dec 9 PMID: 24323912


The delivery of nutrients to the gastrointestinal tract after food ingestion activates the secretion of several gut-derived mediators, including the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). GLP-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA), such as exenatide and liraglutide, are currently successfully employed in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes. GLP-1RA improve glycaemic control and stimulate satiety leading to reductions in food intake and body weight. Besides gastric distension and peripheral vagal nerve activation, GLP-1RA induce satiety by influencing brain regions involved in the regulation of feeding, and several routes of action have been proposed. This review summarizes the evidence for a physiological role of GLP-1 in the central regulation of feeding behaviour and the different routes of action involved. Also, we provide an overview of presently available data on pharmacological stimulation of GLP-1 pathways leading to alterations in CNS activity, reductions in food intake and weight loss.