OBJECTIVE: It has been reported that the peptides such as orexins, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and leptin may play an important role in the regulation of appetite and energy metabolism. The interaction between leptin, orexins and NPY, as well as between peptides and insulin and cortisol in the different nutritional states have been investigated in animals. However, at present this relationship is poorly understood in humans.
RESEARCH METHODS: Material consisted of 36 obese women and 16 lean women. Plasma orexin A, orexin B, neuropeptide Y (NPY), leptin, insulin concentrations were measured with RIA methods.
RESULTS: Plasma orexin A concentrations were significantly lower in obese women as compared with control group. Plasma orexin A was significantly lower in severe obesity (BMI > 40 kg/m2) than that in moderate obesity (BMI < 40 kg/m2). Plasma orexin B concentrations did not change. However, plasma NPY, leptin and insulin levels were markedly higher in obese women, especially in severe obesity.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirmed the thesis that orexin A, NPY, leptin play an important role in the regulation of energy metabolism in humans. In obesity the activity of these peptides is disturbed.