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In this Review, Elizabeth Lawson discusses the data that link oxytocin to eating behaviour and metabolism in humans. Although further investigation is required, Lawson suggests that the pathways involving oxytocin can be targeted in the treatment of metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes mellitus.
Melanocortin receptor accessory protein 2 (MRAP2) is an adaptor protein that contributes to melanocortin-4 receptor and prokineticin receptor 1 signalling. Here the authors show that MRAP2 also regulates ghrelin receptor signalling in the hypothalamus and starvation sensing in mice.
MANF is a neurotrophic factor that is secreted but also mediates the unfolded protein response acting intracellularly. Here, the authors show that MANF expression in the brain is influenced by nutritional cues, and hypothalamic MANF influences food intake and systemic energy homeostasis.
Although animal models have been used to understand the aetiologies of polycystic ovary syndrome, these models are possibly not the best tool to study the underlying causes of this syndrome, as the disorder is uniquely human and does not occur naturally in animals. A recent study illustrates this point.