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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 483145, 21 pages
Review Article

The Role of “Mixed” Orexigenic and Anorexigenic Signals and Autoantibodies Reacting with Appetite-Regulating Neuropeptides and Peptides of the Adipose Tissue-Gut-Brain Axis: Relevance to Food Intake and Nutritional Status in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

1Institute of Endocrinology, Laboratory of Clinical and Experimental Neuroendocrinology, Narodni 8, 116 94 Prague 1, Czech Republic
2Psychiatric Clinic, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Ke Karlovu 11, 121 08 Prague 2, Czech Republic

Received 28 March 2013; Accepted 11 July 2013

Academic Editor: Carlos Dieguez

Copyright © 2013 Kvido Smitka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Eating disorders such as anorexia (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are characterized by abnormal eating behavior. The essential aspect of AN is that the individual refuses to maintain a minimal normal body weight. The main features of BN are binge eating and inappropriate compensatory methods to prevent weight gain. The gut-brain-adipose tissue (AT) peptides and neutralizing autoantibodies play an important role in the regulation of eating behavior and growth hormone release. The mechanisms for controlling food intake involve an interplay between gut, brain, and AT. Parasympathetic, sympathetic, and serotoninergic systems are required for communication between brain satiety centre, gut, and AT. These neuronal circuits include neuropeptides ghrelin, neuropeptide Y (NPY), peptide YY (PYY), cholecystokinin (CCK), leptin, putative anorexigen obestatin, monoamines dopamine, norepinephrine (NE), serotonin, and neutralizing autoantibodies. This extensive and detailed report reviews data that demonstrate that hunger-satiety signals play an important role in the pathogenesis of eating disorders. Neuroendocrine dysregulations of the AT-gut-brain axis peptides and neutralizing autoantibodies may result in AN and BN. The circulating autoantibodies can be purified and used as pharmacological tools in AN and BN. Further research is required to investigate the orexigenic/anorexigenic synthetic analogs and monoclonal antibodies for potential treatment of eating disorders in clinical practice.