The central nervous system (CNS) contributes significantly to glucose homeostasis. The available evidence indicates that insulin directly acts on the CNS, in particular the hypothalamus, to regulate hepatic glucose production, thereby controlling whole-body glucose metabolism. Additionally, insulin also acts on the brain to regulate food intake and fat metabolism, which may indirectly regulate glucose metabolism. Studies conducted over the last decade have found that the CNS can regulate glucose metabolism in an insulin-independent manner. Enhancement of central leptin signalling reverses hyperglycaemia in insulin-deficient rodents. Here, I review the mechanisms by which central insulin and leptin actions regulate glucose metabolism. Although clinical studies have shown that insulin treatment is currently indispensable for managing diabetes, unravelling the neuronal mechanisms underlying the central regulation of glucose metabolism will pave the way for the design of novel therapeutic drugs for diabetes.
- central nervous system
- glucose metabolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience