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David A Bechtold and Simon M Luckman

In the three decades since FMRFamide was isolated from the clam Macrocallista nimbosa, the list of RFamide peptides has been steadily growing. These peptides occur widely across the animal kingdom, including five groups of RFamide peptides identified in mammals. Although there is tremendous diversity in structure and biological activity in the RFamides, the involvement of these peptides in the regulation of energy balance and feeding behaviour appears consistently through evolution. Even so, questions remain as to whether feeding-related actions represent a primary function of the RFamides, especially within mammals. However, as we will discuss here, the study of RFamide function is rapidly expanding and with it so is our understanding of how these peptides can influence food intake directly as well as related aspects of feeding behaviour and energy expenditure.