Weighing in the Role of BDNF in the Central Control of Eating Behavior
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- Cordeira, J. & Rios, M. Mol Neurobiol (2011) 44: 441. doi:10.1007/s12035-011-8212-2
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The prevalence of obesity and its associated medical complications, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, continues to rise globally. Lifestyle changes in the last decades have greatly contributed to the current obesity trends. However, inheritable biological factors that disrupt the tightly regulated equilibrium between caloric intake and energy expenditure also appear to play a critical part. Mounting evidence obtained from human and rodent studies suggests that perturbed brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling in appetite-regulating centers in the brain might be a culprit. Here, we review findings that inform the critical roles of BDNF and its receptor TrkB in energy balance and reward centers of the brain impacting feeding behavior and body weight.