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Special Issue "The Hypothalamic Neuropeptides' Role in Metabolic Diseases and Immunoregulation"

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383). This special issue belongs to the section "Neuroscience".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Giovanni Messina

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Role of the nervous system and various neuropeptides in the physiology and pathophysiology of the most important functional changes and its correlated diseases; Relationship between adipose tissue and Central Nervous System as a potential immunity link; Relationship between Autonomic Nervous System and Orexingergic System in physiological, clinical and sports conditions; Cortical and hypothalamic control of vegetative functions; Variations of metabolic and vegetative parameters in physiological, clinical and sports conditions; Variations of Heat Rate Variability in physiological, clinical and sports conditions
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marco Carotenuto

Department of Mental and Physical Health and Preventive Medicine, Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Rare genetic diseases; Genetic diseases with cognitive disabilities; Sleep regulation in neurodevelopmental disorders; Polysomnography alterations in neurodevelopmental disorders; Neurochemical alterations in autism spectrum disorders; Neuroinflammation in neurodevelopmental disorders

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interdisciplinary studies in the research fields of endocrinology and immunology show that obesity-associated overnutrition leads to neuroinflammatory molecular changes, particularly in the hypothalamus, chronically causing various disorders known as elements of metabolic syndrome. In this process, neural or hypothalamic inflammation impairs the neuroendocrine and autonomic regulation of the brain in relation to blood pressure, glucose homeostasis, and insulin secretion, and elevated sympathetic activation is appreciated as a critical mediator.

Hypothalamic inflammation is an important factor in the pathogenesis of diabetes and hypertension. Indeed, an overnutrition and aging leads to hypothalamic inflammation. This inflammation can stem from, in part, the activation of IKKβ/NF-κB cascade in association with functional changes of intracellular organelles such as RNA stress responses, endoplasmic reticulum, and oxidative stresses, and, more chronically, autophagic defects. Such hypothalamic inflammation affects not only neuroendocrine signaling but also the connections between the hypothalamus and the autonomic nervous system, leading to increased sympathetic outflow. Consequently, the autonomic control over peripheral organs, including the liver, skeletal muscle, pancreas, and cardiovascular system, is perturbed, resulting in glucose disorder, insulin resistance, insulin secretion impairment, and increased blood pressure, which are predicted to chronically contribute to the development of diabetes and hypertension. It is well known that there is an important and intricate relationship between the immune system and the nervous system. These systems are communicate through the production of molecules such as cytokines, hormones, and peptides from the CNS and through the activation of afferent and efferent neurological pathways in lymphoid organs, with both immuno-suppressive and immuno-stimulating effects. On the other hand, the cytokines are able to communicate with the CNS and ensure the passage of specific signals and information from the periphery to the brain.

Moreover, these pathways’ activation may be relevant in many chronic diseases such as neurodevelopmental disorders (i.e., autism spectrum disorders, Rett disease, X-Fragile) with relevant neurovegetative dysregulation.

Having a comprehensive and extensive understanding of the mechanisms underlying the interaction between the CNS and immune systems may be important for understanding the modulation of certain brain functions as a possible clinic therapeutic approach for immune-mediated diseases. In this context, many cytokines and neuropeptides, for example, orexin-A, adiponectin, leptin, and other neuropeptides, may represent key factors linking the immune system, metabolism, and CNS functions. Recent reports have shown that caloric restriction can significantly increase overall survival in several experimental animal models of autoimmune diseases. More specifically, CR has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective effects that could be instrumental in the improvement of clinical outcomes in many autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, or reumatoid arthritis, since this regimen is able to impair pathological proliferation of autoreactive cells and pro-inflammatory cytokine production. We have summarized the most recent advances and the key players linking the central nervous system, immune tolerance, and the metabolic status. For these reasons, it is important understand that molecular pathways and biological mechanisms undergo a strong interaction between the central nervous system, the immune system, and metabolic functions to use new, more targeted, and specific therapeutic approaches in metabolic and immune diseases.

Prof. Dr. Giovanni Messina
Prof. Dr. Marco Carotenuto
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Clinical Medicine is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Central nervous system
  • Nueropeptides
  • Sleep regulation
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Rett disorder
  • Cognitive disabilities
  • Autism spectrum disorders

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Feeding-Related Peptides on Neuronal Oscillation in the Ventromedial Hypothalamus
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(3), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8030292
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 23 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
PDF Full-text (2765 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) plays an important role in feeding behavior, obesity, and thermoregulation. The VMH contains glucose-sensing neurons, the firing of which depends on the level of extracellular glucose and which are involved in maintaining the blood glucose level via the sympathetic [...] Read more.
The ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) plays an important role in feeding behavior, obesity, and thermoregulation. The VMH contains glucose-sensing neurons, the firing of which depends on the level of extracellular glucose and which are involved in maintaining the blood glucose level via the sympathetic nervous system. The VMH also expresses various receptors of the peptides related to feeding. However, it is not well-understood whether the action of feeding-related peptides mediates the activity of glucose-sensing neurons in the VMH. In the present study, we examined the effects of feeding-related peptides on the burst-generating property of the VMH. Superfusion with insulin, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide, corticotropin-releasing factor, and orexin increased the frequency of the VMH oscillation. In contrast, superfusion with leptin, cholecystokinin, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, galanin, ghrelin, and neuropeptide Y decreased the frequency of the oscillation. Our findings indicated that the frequency changes of VMH oscillation in response to the application of feeding-related peptides showed a tendency similar to changes of sympathetic nerve activity in response to the application of these substances to the brain. Full article

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J. Clin. Med. EISSN 2077-0383 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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