Pancreatic polypeptide revisited: Potential therapeutic effects in obesity-diabetes

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Pancreatic polypeptide (PP), a member of the neuropeptide Y (NPY) family of peptides, is a hormone secreted from the endocrine pancreas with established actions on appetite regulation. Thus, through activation of hypothalamic neuropeptide Y4 (NPY4R or Y4) receptors PP induces satiety in animals and humans, suggesting potential anti-obesity actions. In addition, despite being actively secreted from pancreatic islets and evidence of local Y4 receptor expression, PP mediated effects on the endocrine pancreas have not been fully elucidated. To date, it appears that PP possesses an acute insulinostatic effect, similar to the impact of other peptides from the NPY family. However, it is interesting that prolonged activation of pancreatic Y1 receptors leads to established benefits on beta-cell turnover, preservation of beta-cell identity and improved insulin secretory responsiveness. This may hint towards possible similar anti-diabetic actions of sustained Y4 receptor modulation, since the Y1 and Y4 receptors trigger comparable cell signalling pathways. In terms of exploiting the prospective therapeutic promise of PP, this is severely restricted by a short circulating half-life as is the case for many regulatory peptide hormones. It follows that long-acting, enzyme resistant, forms of PP will be required to determine viability of the Y4 receptor as an anti-obesity and -diabetes drug target. The current review aims to refocus interest on the biology of PP and highlight opportunities for therapeutic development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170923
Pages (from-to)170923
Early online date9 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors work on the neuropeptide family of peptides has been supported by Invest Northern Ireland , Department for the Economy (DfE) Northern Ireland and Ulster University strategic research funding.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Pancreatic Polypeptide (PP)
  • Diabetes
  • Islet
  • Obesity
  • Satiety


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