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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Plasma agouti-related protein levels in women with anorexia nervosa.

Agouti-related protein (AGRP) is the competitive antagonist of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) located at melanocortin receptors 3 and 4 (MC3R and MC4R), and also acts as an MC4R inverse agonist. Hypothalamic AGRP controls food intake and body weight in rodents. It has also been found in human plasma. To study the possibility of disturbances in melanocortin receptor-related peptides in eating disorders, plasma AGRP, alpha-MSH, and leptin levels were measured in 18 female patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) (age, 23.5+/-7.1yr; body mass index (BMI) 14.5+/-1.8kg/m(2)) and 17 age-matched female controls (age, 25.8+/-3.9yr; BMI 20.2+/-1.6kg/m(2)). Blood samples were collected after overnight fasting, and plasma peptides levels were measured using ELISA. Plasma AGRP levels increased significantly in AN patients when compared with controls (P<0.01) while plasma alpha-MSH levels were not significantly different. Plasma leptin levels decreased significantly in AN patients when compared with controls (P<0.001). In addition, plasma AGRP levels were negatively correlated with leptin (r=-0.41, P<0.01) and BMI (r=-0.40, P<0.05) in all subjects. In conclusion, plasma AGRP elevation may be related to energy homeostasis disturbance in AN, and in addition to leptin, peripheral AGRP levels could be used as a nutritional marker in AN patients.[1]


  1. Plasma agouti-related protein levels in women with anorexia nervosa. Moriya, J., Takimoto, Y., Yoshiuchi, K., Shimosawa, T., Akabayashi, A. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2006) [Pubmed]
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