A brain receptor which is involved in regulating appetite has been detected by scientists at Columbia University Medical Center. The researchers reported in the journal Cell that this very druggable target could mean that a new medication for obesity may not be that difficult to find.

The scientists focused on the hypothalamus, a small area of the brain that controls body temperature, thirst, sleep, fatigue, circadian cycles, and hunger. Previous studies had indicated that the regulatory mechanism is concentrated in neurons that express AgRP - a brain modulator, or neuropeptide. However, exactly what factors influence AgRP expression are poorly understood.


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