Neuropeptide Y is one of the most potent neuropeptides known to induce feeding in animals, and has been suggested to be a physiological signal for food intake. It has been also reported that intracerebroventricular injection of neuropeptide Y stimulates feeding behavior of the neonatal chick. There are many neuropeptide Y receptor agonists that have not been investigated in feeding response of the neonatal chick. The aim of this study is to elucidate whether central injection of several neuropeptide Y receptor agonists stimulates feeding of the neonatal chick over 2 h. We found that central injections of [Leu31, Pro34]neuropeptide Y, peptide YY, human pancreatic polypeptide and rat pancreatic polypeptide significantly stimulated food intake of neonatal chicks throughout the 2-h post-injection period. Neuropeptide Y-(13-36) significantly stimulated feeding at 30 min, but not thereafter. [D-Trp32]neuropeptide Y stimulated feeding at 60 and 120 min, but not 30 min, post-injection. Central administration of rat pancreatic polypeptide, which does not increase food intake in rats, stimulated feeding in chicks. This result reflects structural differences of the neuropeptide Y receptor subtypes and/or differences in mechanisms stimulating feeding behavior between mammals and chickens. In conclusion, neuropeptide Y receptor agonists, except for neuropeptide Y-(13-36), are potent stimulators of food intake in the neonatal chick.
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