The role of the vagus nerve in obesity.
The vagus nerve innervates the gut and plays an important role in controlling metabolism.
The nerve communicates peripheral information about the volume and type of nutrients from the gut to the brain. Depending on the nutritional status, vagal afferent neurons express two different neurochemical phenotypes that can inhibit or stimulate food intake.
Chronic ingestion of calorie‐ rich food reduces sensitivity of vagal afferent neurons to peripheral signals and their constitutive expression of orexigenic receptors and neuropeptides.
This disruption of vagal afferent signaling is sufficient to cause hyperphagia and obesity.
There is strong evidence that the vagus nerve is involved in the development of obesity and it is proving to be an attractive target for the treatment of obesity.
Vagal nerve stimulation prevents weight gain in response to a high‐fat diet.
De Lartigue G. (2016) Role of the vagus nerve in the development
and treatment of diet‐induced obesity. Journal of Physiology.