The hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and the control of peripheral substrates

Aurélie Joly-Amado, Céline Cansell, Raphaël G P Denis, Anne-Sophie Delbes, Julien Castel, Sarah Martinez, Serge Luquet

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


The arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus is particularly regarded as a critical platform that integrates circulating signals of hunger and satiety reflecting energy stores and nutrient availability. Among ARC neurons, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and agouti-related protein and neuropeptide Y (NPY/AgRP neurons) are considered as two opposing branches of the melanocortin signaling pathway. Integration of circulating signals of hunger and satiety results in the release of the melanocortin receptor ligand α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (αMSH) by the POMC neurons system and decreases feeding and increases energy expenditure. The orexigenic/anabolic action of NPY/AgRP neurons is believed to rely essentially on their inhibitory input onto POMC neurons and second-orders targets. Recent updates in the field have casted a new light on the role of the ARC neurons in the coordinated regulation of peripheral organs involved in the control of nutrient storage, transformation and substrate utilization independent of food intake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-737
Number of pages13
JournalBest Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Issue number5
Early online date4 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • nutrient partitioning
  • substrate utilization
  • hypothalamus
  • agouti-related peptide
  • neuropeptide Y
  • autonomic nervous system


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