The hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) integrates and responds to satiety and hunger signals and forms the origins of the central neural response to perturbations in energy balance. Here we show that rat ARC neurons containing neuropeptide Y (NPY) and agouti-related protein (AgRP), which are conditional pacemakers, are activated by orexigens and inhibited by the anorexigen leptin. We propose a neuron-specific signaling mechanism through which central and peripheral signals engage the central neural anabolic drive.
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