We developed a new hypothesis claiming that natriuresis of fasting is not only caused by diminished insulin resistance and hyperinsulinaemia with the subsequent reduction of renal sodium retention but it can also be attributed to the function of the leptin-NPY system. Each element of this concept has been substantiated by convincing experimental evidences as follows: 1. Leptin, the adipocyte-derived peptide hormone conveys information to the central nervous system about the size of body energy stores and it reciprocally regulates the hypothalamic expression of NPY, the major mediator of its metabolic and neuroendocrine actions. 2. NPY has been demonstrated to be intimately involved in the regulation of renal functions; under various experimental conditions it increased urine flow rate and urinary sodium excretion presumably through stimulating the synthesis and/or release of other natriuretic factors. 3. Fasting-induced suppression of tissue expression of leptin mRNA and circulating plasma leptin levels is associated with simultaneous activation of NPY system. 4. This sequence of events implies that NPY contributes to natriuresis that occurs in response to fasting.
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