Nociceptin Induces Hypophagia in the Perifornical and Lateral Hypothalamic Area

Parsons, Matthew P. and Burt, Julia and Cranford, Amanda and Alberto, Christian O. and Zipperlen, Katrin and Hirasawa, Michiru (2012) Nociceptin Induces Hypophagia in the Perifornical and Lateral Hypothalamic Area. PLoS ONE, 7 (9). pp. 1-7. ISSN 1932-6203

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Nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) is known to induce food intake when administered into the lateral ventricle or certain brain areas. This is somewhat contradictory to its reward-suppressing role, as food is a strong rewarding stimulus. This discrepancy may be due to the functional diversity of N/OFQ’s target brain areas. N/OFQ has been shown to inhibit orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons, both of which are appetite-inducing cells. As the expression of these neurons is largely confined to the lateral hypothalamus/perifornical area (LH/PFA), we hypothesized that N/OFQ inhibits food intake by acting in this area. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of local N/OFQ infusion within the LH/PFA on food intake in the rat and found that N/OFQ decreased sugar pellet as well as chow intake. This effect was not seen when the injection site was outside of the LH/PFA, suggesting a site-specific effect. Next, to determine a possible cellular mechanism of N/OFQ action on food intake, whole cell patch clamp recordings were performed on rat orexin neurons. As previously reported in mice, N/OFQ induced a strong and long lasting hyperpolarization. Pharmacological study indicated that N/OFQ directly inhibited orexin neurons by activating ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels. This effect was partially but significantly attenuated by the inhibitors of PI3K, PKC and PKA, suggesting that the N/OFQ signaling is mediated by these protein kinases. In summary, our results demonstrate a KATP channel-dependent N/OFQ signaling and that N/OFQ is a site-specific anorexic peptide.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 609
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author’s Fund
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of > Biomedical Sciences
Date: 17 September 2012
Date Type: Publication

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