Horm Metab Res 2006; 38(7): 442-446
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-947840

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Effects of Insulin on the Central Nervous System - Focus on Appetite Regulation

R. U. Pliquett 1 , D. Führer 1 , S. Falk 1 , S. Zysset 2 , D. Y. von Cramon 2 , M. Stumvoll 1
  • 1University of Leipzig, Faculty of Medicine, III. Medical Department, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Received 8 February 2006

Accepted after revision 27 March 2006

Publication Date:
24 August 2006 (online)


Appetite and satiety are subject to complex regulation, with neuroendocrine mechanisms playing an important role. The central nervous system is attracting increasing attention as a target tissue for many hormones such as leptin, PYY3-36, ghrelin, glucagon-like-peptide 1 and many others. Among its many well-known functions, insulin is also a potent anorexigenic hormone, and insulin receptors are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system. One way to advance our understanding of central nervous regulation of hunger and satiety in humans is to develop suitable neuroimaging techniques for use in various clinical and experimental conditions. Several studies have been performed using functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography to identify areas of the brain that are differentially activated by alteration of the feeding state. These preliminary data are taking shape as a complex neuronal network involving the hypothalamus, thalamus, limbic and paralimbic areas including the insular cortex and the anterior cingulate gyrus and the orbitofrontal cortex. Continuous efforts to understand hormonal effects on these pathways may advance our understanding of human obesity.



Michael StumvollMD 

Professor of Medicine·University of Leipzig·III. Medical Department

Philipp-Rosenthal-Str. 27·04103 Leipzig·Germany

Phone: +49/341/971 33 80

Fax: +49/341/971 33 89

Email: michael.stumvoll@medizin.uni-leipzig.de