, Volume 20, Supplement 1, pp 343–356 | Cite as

Central nervous system regulation of liver and adipose tissue metabolism

  • T. Shimazu


Hypothalamic and autonomic nervous regulation of carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism in the liver and of lipid metabolism in adipose tissues is described. The direct neural mechanism underlying this regulation has been evaluated. Electrical stimulation of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH)-splanchnic nerve system causes glycogenolysis in the liver by rapid activation of glycogen phosphorylase, whereas electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamic nucleus (LH)-vagus nerve system promotes glycogenesis in the liver by activation of glycogen synthetase, through direct neural and neural-hormonal mechanisms. Studies on chemical coding of the hypothalamic neurones have revealed that norepinephrine-sensitive neurones in the VMH and acetylcholine-sensitive neurones in the LH are specifically involved in the regulation of liver phosphorylase and glycogen synthetase, respectively. Acetylcholine-sensitive neurones of the LH were also found to be concerned in regulation of hepatic tyrosine aminotransferase activity, through intermediation of the cholinergic system in the LH-vagal pathway. Finally, it has been shown that the VMH acts as a regulatory centre for lipolysis in adipose tissues by modulating activation of the sympathetic nervous system. In addition, stimulation of the VMH enhanced lipogenesis in brown adipose tissue preferentially, probably through a mechanism mediated by sympathetic innervation of this tissue. The latter finding suggests that both the breakdown and resynthesis of triglycerides in brown adipose tissue, but not in white adipose tissue, are accelerated by stimulation of the VMH.

Key words

Ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus lateral hypothalamic nucleus splanchnic nerves vagus nerves glycogenolysis glycogenesis lipolysis lipogenesis hypothalamic obesity insulin glucagon calcium ions phosphorylase glycogen synthetase tyrosine aminotransferase 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Shimazu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical BiochemistrySchool of Medicine, Ehime UniversityEhimeJapan

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