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Brent Wisse, M.D.

Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition

Associate Professor of Medicine


The focus of the laboratory is on investigating the central (CNS) mechanisms that lead to diminished appetite (anorexia) in chronic disease states. Anorexia and weight loss are major complications of many chronic diseases including cancer, AIDS, adrenal insufficiency and inflammatory disorders, that lead to an excess morbidity and mortality. The hypothalamic neuropeptides that control appetite are being examined in a variety of rodent models of pathologic anorexia, with particular emphasis on treatments that block melanocortin and cytokine signaling. The long-term goals are to identify targets that may lead to improved treatment of anorexia and of obesity.


Wisse BE, Campfield LA, Marliss EB, Morais JA, Tenenbaum R, Gougeon R:  Effect of prolonged moderate and severe energy restriction and refeeding on plasma leptin concentrations in obese women.  Am J Clin Nutr 70:321-330, 1999.

Wisse BE, Frayo RS, Schwartz MW, Cummings DE:  Reversal of cancer anorexia by blockade of central melanocortin receptors in rats.  Endocrinology 142:3293-3301, 2001.

Cummings DE, Purnell JQ, Frayo RS, Schmidova K, Wisse BE, Weigle DS:  A preprandial rise in plasma ghrelin levels suggests a role in meal initiation in humans.  Diabetes 50:1714-1719, 2001.

Wisse BE, Schwartz MW:  Role of melanocortins in control of obesity.  Lancet 358:857-859, 2001.

Wisse BE, Schwartz MW, Cummings DE:  Melanocortin signaling and anorexia in chronic disease states.  Ann N Y Acad Sci 994:275-281, 2003.