Oxytocin and vasopressin systems in obesity and metabolic health: Mechanisms and perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

Purpose of review: The neurohypophysial endocrine system is identified here as a potential target for therapeutic interventions toward improving obesity-related metabolic dysfunction, given its coinciding pleiotropic effects on psychological, neurological and metabolic systems that are disrupted in obesity.

Recent findings: Copeptin, the C-terminal portion of the precursor of arginine-vasopressin, is positively associated with body mass index and risk of type 2 diabetes. Plasma oxytocin is decreased in obesity and several other conditions of abnormal glucose homeostasis. Recent data also show non-classical tissues, such as myocytes, hepatocytes and β-cells, exhibit responses to oxytocin and vasopressin receptor binding that may contribute to alterations in metabolic function.

Summary: The modulation of anorexigenic and orexigenic pathways appears to be the dominant mechanism underlying the effects of oxytocin and vasopressin on body weight regulation; however, there are apparent limitations associated with their use in direct pharmacological applications. A clearer picture of their wider physiological effects is needed before either system can be considered for therapeutic use.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Obesity Reports
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)301-316
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Insulin resistance, Beta-cell function, Energy exoenditure, Neurohypophysis, Substrate metabolism, Vasopressin

ID: 225375987