The richly structured neuroendocrine control of the heart in health and disease requires, in addition to the autonomic nervous outflow, the essential contribute of various and often interacting humoral peptides (e.g. natriuretic peptides, Chromogranin-A-derived fragments, etc). In many
cases, these molecules also influence the activity of other organ systems, including the gastrointestinal apparatus, in which they control mucosal function as well as motility and secretion. Interestingly, by acting centrally, some of these peptides also regulate satiety and appetite, thus
forming an interesting link between cardiac and gastrointestinal function, and the feeding pattern. Prolonged inhibition and/or activation of these peptide pathways frequently results in severe and long-lasting dysfunctions, including cardiovascular diseases associated to alimentary disorders
(e.g. obesity). Notably, their multifarious actions and mutual interactions make them excellent candidates for long-term resetting of both cardiac, gastrointestinal and nutrition homeostasis. Here we will provide only few examples taken from the quickly evolving scenario, with the purpose
to provide indications concerning the complex circuits generated by multilevel signalling peptides, which contributes to orchestrate the association between cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and alimentary functions. This will highlight not only the complexity of the cardiovascular and GI regulatory
networks, but also aspects of integration between feeding stimulating peptides and the other neuroendocrine systems affecting the heart and the GI tract.
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