Food intake activates neurones expressing prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) in the medulla oblongata and oxytocin neurones in the hypothalamus. Both PrRP and oxytocin have been shown to have an anorexic action. In the present study, we investigated whether the activation of oxytocin neurones following food intake is mediated by PrRP. We first examined the expression of PrRP receptors (also known as GPR10) in rats. Immunoreactivity of PrRP receptors was observed in oxytocin neurones and in vasopressin neurones in the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei of the hypothalamus and in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Application of PrRP to isolated supraoptic nuclei facilitated the release of oxytocin and vasopressin. In mice, re-feeding increased the expression of Fos protein in oxytocin neurones of the hypothalamus and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. The increased expression of Fos protein in oxytocin neurones following re-feeding or i.p. administration of cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK), a peripheral satiety factor, was impaired in PrRP-deficient mice. CCK-induced oxytocin increase in plasma was also impaired in PrRP-deficient mice. Furthermore, oxytocin receptor-deficient mice showed an increased meal size, as reported in PrRP-deficient mice and in CCKA receptor-deficient mice. These findings suggest that PrRP mediates, at least in part, the activation of oxytocin neurones in response to food intake, and that the CCK-PrRP-oxytocin pathway plays an important role in the control of the termination of each meal.
- Food intake
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience