Peptide YY (PYY) also known as peptide tyrosine tyrosine or pancreatic peptide YY3-36 is a peptide that in humans is encoded by the PPY gene. Peptide YY is a short (36-amino acid) peptide released by cells in the ileum and colon in response to feeding. In the blood, gut, and other elements of periphery, PYY acts to reduce appetite; but when injected directly into the central nervous system, PYY is orexigenic, i.e., it increases appetite.
Peptide YY can be produced as the result of enzymatic breakdown of crude fish proteins and ingested as a food product.
PYY is found in L cells in the mucosa of gastrointestinal tract, especially in ileum and colon. Also, a small amount of PYY, about 1-10%, is found in the esophagus, stomach, duodenum and jejunum. PYY concentration in the circulation increases postprandially (after food ingestion) and decreases by fasting. In addition, PYY is produced by a discrete population of neurons in the brainstem, specifically localized to the gigantocellular reticular nucleus of the medulla oblongata. C. R.
Gustavsen et al. had found PYY-producing cells located in the islets of Langerhans in rats. They were observed either alone or co-localized with glucagon or PP.
PYY exerts its action through NPY receptors; it inhibits gastric motility and increases water and electrolyte absorption in the colon. PYY may also suppress pancreatic secretion. It is secreted by the neuroendocrine cells in the ileum and colon in response to a meal, and has been shown to reduce appetite. PYY works by slowing the gastric emptying; hence, it increases efficiency of digestion and nutrient absorption after a meal. Research has also indicated PYY may be useful in removing aluminium accumulated in the brain.
Several studies have shown acute peripheral administration of PYY3-36 inhibits feeding of rodents and primates. Other studies on Y2R-knockout mice have shown no anorectic effect on them. These findings indicate PYY3-36 has an anorectic (losing appetite) effect, which is suggested to be mediated by Y2R. PYY-knockout female mice increase in body weight and fat mass. PYY-knockout mice, on the other hand, are resistant to obesity, but have higher fat mass and lower glucose tolerance when fed a high-fat diet, compared to control mice. Thus, PYY also plays a very important role in energy homeostasis by balancing food intake. PYY oral spray was found to promote fullness. Viral gene therpy of the salivary glands resulted in long-term intake reduction. Leptin also reduces appetite in response to feeding, but obese people develop a resistance to leptin. Obese people secrete less PYY than non-obese people, and attempts to use PYY directly as a weight-loss drug have met with some success. Researchers noted the caloric intake during a buffet lunch offered two hours after the infusion of PYY was decreased by 30% in obese subjects (P<0.001) and 31% in lean subjects (P<0.001).
While some studies have shown obese persons have lower circulating level of PYY postprandially, other studies have reported they have normal sensitivity to the anorectic effect of PYY3-36. Thus, reduction in PYY sensitivity may not be one of the causes of obesity, in contrast to the reduction of leptin sensitivity. The anorectic effect of PYY could possibly be a future obesity drug.
The consumption of protein boosts PYY levels, so some benefit was observed in experimental subjects in reducing hunger and promoting weight loss. This would help explain the weight-loss experienced with high-protein diets.
Obese patients undergoing gastric bypass showed marked metabolic adaptations, resulting in frequent diabetes remission 1 year later. When the confounding of calorie restriction is factored out, β-cell function improves rapidly, very possibly under the influence of enhanced GLP-1 responsiveness. Insulin sensitivity improves in proportion to weight loss, with a possible involvement of PYY.
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Reference  Murphy KG, Bloom SR (December 2006). “Gut hormones and the regulation of energy homeostasis”. Nature 444 (7121): 854–9.  Gustavsen CR, Pillay N, Heller RS (2008). “An immunohistochemical study of the endocrine pancreas of the African ice rat, Otomys sloggetti robertsi”. Acta Histochem. 110 (4): 294–301.  Batterham RL, Heffron H, Kapoor S, Chivers J, Chandarana K, Herzog H, Le Roux CW, Thomas EL, Bell JD, Withers DJ (2006). “Critical role for peptide YY in protein-mediated satiation and body-weight regulation”. Cell Metabolism 4 (3): 223–233.