Neuroimaging, gut peptides and obesity: Novel studies of the neurobiology of appetite

Charlisa D. Gibson, S. Carnell, C. N. Ochner, A. Geliebter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Two major biological players in the regulation of body weight are the gut and the brain. Peptides released from the gut convey information about energy needs to areas of the brain involved in homeostatic control of food intake. There is emerging evidence that human food intake is also under the control of cortical and subcortical areas related to reward and cognition. The extent to which gut hormones influence these brain areas is not fully understood. Novel methods combining the study of neural activity and hormonal signalling promise to advance our understanding of gut-brain interactions. Here, we review a growing number of animal and human studies using neuroimaging methods (functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography) to measure brain activation in relation to nutrient loads and infusion of gut peptides. Implications for current and future pharmacological treatments for obesity are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-845
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain imaging
  • Food intake
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Gut hormones
  • Obesity
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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