How the hypothalamus transmits hunger information to other brain regions to govern whole brain function to orchestrate feeding behavior has remained largely unknown. Our present study suggests the importance of a recently found lateral hypothalamic neuropeptide, QRFP, in this signaling. Qrfp-/- mice were hypophagic and lean, and exhibited increased anxiety-like behavior, and were hypoactive in novel circumstances as compared with wild type littermates. They also showed decreased wakefulness time in the early hours of the dark period. Histological studies suggested that QRFP neurons receive rich innervations from neurons in the arcuate nucleus which is a primary region for sensing the body's metabolic state by detecting levels of leptin, ghrelin and glucose. These observations suggest that QRFP is an important mediator that acts as a downstream mediator of the arcuate nucleus and regulates feeding behavior, mood, wakefulness and activity.
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