, Volume 235, Issue 8, pp 2287–2301 | Cite as

The hindbrain is a site of energy balance action for prolactin-releasing peptide: feeding and thermic effects from GPR10 stimulation of the nucleus tractus solitarius/area postrema

  • X. S. DavisEmail author
  • H. J. Grill
Original Investigation



Prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) is a neuropeptide that suppresses food intake and increases body temperature when delivered to the forebrain ventricularly or parenchymally. However, PrRP’s receptor GPR10 is widely distributed throughout the brain with particularly high levels found in the dorsomedial hindbrain. Thus, we hypothesized that hindbrain-directed PrRP administration would affect energy balance and motivated feeding behavior.


To address this hypothesis, a range of behavioral and physiologic variables were measured in Sprague-Dawley rats that received PrRP delivered to the fourth ventricle (4V) or the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) at the level of the area postrema (AP).


4V PrRP delivery decreased chow intake and body weight, in part, through decreasing meal size in ad libitum maintained rats tested at dark onset. PrRP inhibited feeding when delivered to the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), but not to more ventral hindbrain structures. In addition, 4V as well as direct NTS administration of PrRP increased core temperature. By contrast, 4V PrRP did not reduce ad libitum intake of highly palatable food or the motivation to work for or seek palatable foods.


The dorsomedial hindbrain and NTS/AP, in particular, are sites of action in PrRP/GPR10-mediated control of chow intake, core temperature, and body weight.


NTS Body temperature Reward Food intake Hyperthermia 



We thank Zhi Yi Ong, Hallie Wald, and Amber Alhadeff for their assistance with experiments.


This study was funded by NIH R01 DK21397 (HJG) and T32 DK007314 (XSD).

Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures conformed to and received approval from the institutional standards of the University of Pennsylvania Animal Care and Use Committee.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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