Neurochemical Research

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 637–648 | Cite as

Neuropeptide Y perfused in the preoptic area of rats shifts extracellular efflux of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin during hypothermia and feeding

  • R. D. Myers
  • M. F. Lankford
  • A. K. Roscoe
Original Articles


This study examined the localized action of neuropeptide Y (NPY) on monoamine transmitter activity in the hypothalamus of the unrestrained rat as this peptide induced hypothermia, spontaneous feeding or both responses simultaneously. A guide tube was implanted in the anterior hypothalamic pre-optic area (AH/POA) of Sprague-Dawley rats. Then either control CSF vehicle or NPY in a dose of either 100 ng/μl or 250 ng/μl was perfused by push-pull cannulae in this structure in the fully sated, normothermic rat. Successive perfusions were carried out at a rate of 20 μl/min for 6.0 min with an interval of 6.0 min elapsing between each. Samples of perfusate were assayed by HPLC for their levels of dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE), serotonin (5-HT) and their respective metabolites. Whereas control CSF was without effect on body temperature (Tb) or feeding, repeated perfusions of NPY over 3.0 hr caused dose—dependent eating from 4 to 39 g of food, hypothermia of 0.9 to 2.3°C or both responses concurrently. As the rats consumed 11–39 g of food, the efflux of NE, MHPG, DOPAC and 5-HT was enhanced significantly, whereas during the fall in Tb the efflux of NE, DOPAC and 5-HIAA from the AH/POA increased. When the Tb of the rat declined simultaneously with eating behavior, the levels in perfusate of DOPAC and HVA increased significantly while MHPG declined. During perfusion of the AH/POA with NPY the turnover of NE declined while DA and 5-HT turnover increased during hypothermia alone or when accompanied by feeding. These results demonstrate that the sustained elevation in NPY within the AH/POA causes a selective alteration in the activity of the neurotransmitters implicated in thermoregulation, satiety and hunger. These findings suggest that both DA and NE comprise intermediary factors facilitating the action of NPY on neurons involved in thermoregulatory and ingestive processes. The local activity of NPY on hypothalamic neurons apparently shifts the functional balance of serotonergic and catecholaminergic neurons now thought to play a primary role in the control of energy metabolism and caloric intake.

Key Words

Neuropeptide-Y feeding norepinephrine dopamine serotonin food intake NPY anterior hypothalamus 5-HT push-pull perfusion hunger pre-optic area body temperature eating peptides thermoregulation satiety mechanism 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. D. Myers
    • 1
  • M. F. Lankford
    • 1
  • A. K. Roscoe
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatric Medicine, School of MedicineEast Carolina UniversityGreenville

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