Obesity is a major epidemic which results from excessive energy intake and moderate energy expenditure. Because food is the
main source of energy, understanding the mechanisms which control food intake forms the frontline in the fight against obesity.
There are two general mechanisms which regulate food intake, short-term and long-term. The short-term mechanism, the focus of our
laboratory, comprised of two components, meal size (MS) and intermeal meal interval (IMI) length, and it is regulated by peptides
secreted from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract e.g. cholecystokinin (CCK) and gastrin releasing peptide (GRP) and stimulate central
satiety areas to reduce MS and prolong the IMI. By utilizing a local, site-specific, microvascular catheterization technique we have shown
that infusion of various forms of CCK and GRP into the celiac artery (supplies stomach and upper duodenum) and cranial mesenteric
artery (supplies small and large intestine) in 1/10 of the doses given by other routes e.g. intraperitoneal injection reduce MS and prolong
IMI length ten times more than those routes. Therefore, the gastrointestinal tract contains site(s) which regulates MS and IMI length,
and the site-specific technique utilized in our work can be used as an anti-obesity drug delivery system for local targets in the gut.
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