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Brain Senses Gut Lipid After Fatty Meal

Lipid enters brain and reduces food intake in rats

THURSDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A lipid produced by the gut after eating fatty food can enter areas of the brain that control appetite and reduce food intake, according to research published in the Nov. 28 issue of Cell.

Matthew P. Gillum, from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues screened the plasma of rats for increases in lipid derivatives after being fed a high-fat diet after fasting.

The researchers found that N-acylphosphatidylethanolamines (NAPEs) were secreted into the circulation from the small intestine in response to ingested fat. NAPEs entered the brain and became concentrated in the hypothalamus, a region that controls food intake and energy expenditure. Physiologic doses of NAPEs administered systemically or nanomolar amounts administered intracerebroventricularly both reduced food intake, the investigators report. Chronic intravenous treatment with NAPEs for five days continuously reduced both food intake and body weight, unlike chronic treatment with other gut hormones that tend to lose their effectiveness, according to the study.

"In conclusion, these data support the hypothesis that circulating NAPEs, synthesized in the small intestine from ingested fat, may be part of an important physiologic negative feedback loop that serves to reduce food intake and arousal after a fat-containing meal," Gillum and colleagues write.

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