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Divergent effects of central melanocortin signalling on fat and sucrose preference in humans.

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van der Klaauw, Agatha A 
Keogh, Julia M 
Stephenson, Cheryl 
Kelway, Sarah 


Melanocortin-4-receptor (MC4R)-expressing neurons modulate food intake and preference in rodents but their role in human food preference is unknown. Here we show that compared with lean and weight-matched controls, MC4R deficient individuals exhibited a markedly increased preference for high fat, but a significantly reduced preference for high sucrose food. These effects mirror those in Mc4r null rodents and provide evidence for a central molecular circuit influencing human macronutrient preference.



Body Weight, Dietary Fats, Dietary Sugars, Eating, Feeding Behavior, Food Preferences, Humans, Melanocortins, Neurons, Obesity, Point Mutation, Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 4, Signal Transduction, Sucrose

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Nat Commun

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12012/1)
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12012/5)
Wellcome Trust (100574/Z/12/Z)
Wellcome Trust (095515/Z/11/Z)
Wellcome Trust (099038/Z/12/Z)
Wellcome Trust (093875/Z/10/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_PC_12012)
This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (to A.A.v.d.K., P.C.F., I.S.F.), the National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (to S.O’R., I.S.F.), the Bernard Wolfe Health Neuroscience Fund (to A.A.v.d.K., I.S.F., P.C.F.) and the European Research Council (I.S.F.). This work was supported by the NeuroFAST consortium which is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no 245009.