Appetite Regulation Episodic and Tonic Signals

To understand the role of 5-HT in appetite control, it is essential to understand the nature of appetite regulation and the episodic and tonic signals critical to appetite expression. Episodic signals are a crucial in the meal-by-meal regulation of energy intake and are critical to both the appetite fluctuations and patterns of eating behavior we undertake throughout the day (Halford and Blundell 2000). They are generated by the anticipation and ingestion of food and the digestion, absorption, and initial metabolism of nutrients. In contrasts, tonic inhibitory signals are generated by the storage and general metabolism of energy. Whilst episodic and tonic factors are composed of distinct processes, they both act to inhibit food intake via common hypothalamic circuitry (Halford and Blundell 2000). Serotonin plays an important part in the episodic regulation of appetite linking peripheral generated signals to hypothalamic circuitry essential to long-term energy balance.

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