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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 306510, 7 pages
Review Article

The Central Effects of Thyroid Hormones on Appetite

Section of Investigative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, 6th Floor, Commonwealth Building, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK

Received 21 December 2010; Accepted 31 March 2011

Academic Editor: Carmen C. Solorzano

Copyright © 2011 Anjali Amin 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.


Obesity is a major public health issue worldwide. Current pharmacological treatments are largely unsuccessful. Determining the complex pathways that regulate food intake may aid the development of new treatments. The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis has well-known effects on energy expenditure, but its role in the regulation of food intake is less well characterised. Evidence suggests that the HPT axis can directly influence food intake. Thyroid dysfunction can have clinically significant consequences on appetite and body weight. Classically, these effects were thought to be mediated by the peripheral effects of thyroid hormone. However, more recently, local regulation of thyroid hormone in the central nervous system (CNS) is thought to play an important role in physiologically regulating appetite. This paper focuses on the role of the HPT and thyroid hormone in appetite and provides evidence for potential new targets for anti-obesity agents.