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It has been found that in brain areas responsible for controlling appetite brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and TrkB receptor expression are also present. In addition to involvement in neurogenesis, neuroprotection and synaptic plasticity, BDNF has anorexigenic activity. Decreasing of BDNF levels in the brain causes uncontrolled food intake, in turn, administration of BDNF to the central nervous system (CNS) leads to weight loss in animals. BDNF may participate with other factors such as leptin, insulin, cholecystokinin or corticotropin in the regulation of food intake. In addition, BDNF can affect glucose metabolism. It was found that peripheral BDNF level is lower in anorexia compared to healthy people. Moreover, BDNF levels tend to return to basal value when body weight normalizes. The mutation in the BDNF gene could also be important in the pathogenesis of obesity, although data on the blood concentration of this neurotrophin in obese are ambiguous.


Zofia Piotrowicz, Małgorzata Chalimoniuk, Miłosz Czuba, Józef Langfort. Role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in appetite control Postepy biochemii. 2020 Sep 30;66(3):205-212

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PMID: 33315318

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