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Intranasal neuropeptide administration to target the human brain in health and disease.
Mol. Pharm. 12, 2767-2780 (2015)
Central nervous system control of metabolic function relies on the input of endocrine messengers from the periphery, including the pancreatic hormone insulin and the adipokine leptin. This concept primarily derives from experiments in animals where substances can be directly applied to the brain. A feasible approach to study the impact of peptidergic messengers on brain function in humans is the intranasal (IN) route of administration, which bypasses the blood-brain barrier and delivers neuropeptides to the brain compartment, but induces considerably less, if any, peripheral uptake than other administration modes. Experimental IN insulin administration has been extensively used to delineate the role of brain insulin signaling in the control of energy homeostasis, but also cognitive function in healthy humans. Clinical pilot studies have found beneficial effects of IN insulin in patients with memory deficits, suggesting that the IN delivery of this and other peptides bears some promise for new, selectively brain-targeted pharmaceutical approaches in the treatment of metabolic and cognitive disorders. More recently, experiments relying on the IN delivery of the hypothalamic hormone oxytocin, which is primarily known for its involvement in psychosocial processes, have provided evidence that oxytocin influences metabolic control in humans. The IN administration of leptin has been successfully tested in animal models but remains to be investigated in the human setting. We briefly summarize the literature on the IN administration of insulin, leptin, and oxytocin, with a particular focus on metabolic effects, and address limitations and perspectives of IN neuropeptide administration.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Insulin ; Leptin ; Oxytocin ; Intranasal Administration ; Central Nervous System ; Brain ; Metabolism ; Glucose Homeostasis ; Cognitive Function ; Memory; Central-nervous-system; Diet-induced Obesity; Hepatic Glucose-production; Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity; Increases Energy-expenditure; Mild Cognitive Impairment; Adipose-tissue Lipolysis; Insulin Improves Memory; Prader-willi-syndrome; Reduces Food-intake