Recently, we observed that neonatal chicks exhibit feeding behavior characterized by frequent food intake and short resting intervals, with changes detected in the brain amino acid and monoamine concentrations. In this study, we aimed to clarify further the relationship between the appetite of neonatal chicks and brain amino acid metabolism. In Experiment 1, changes were investigated in free amino acids in the brain under conditions of regulated appetite induced by fasting and subsequent short-term re-feeding. Chicks (5. days old) were distributed into four treatment groups - namely, fasting for 3. h, and fasting for 3. h followed by re-feeding for 10, 20 or 30. min. Brain samples were collected after treatment to analyze free amino acid concentrations. Amino adipic acid and proline in all brain parts as well as arginine and ornithine in all brain parts - except mesencephalic arginine and cerebellar ornithine - were increased in a time-dependent manner following re-feeding. In Experiment 2, we further examined the effect of exogenous administration of some amino acids altered in association with feeding behavior in Experiment 1. We chose l-arginine and its functional metabolite, l-ornithine, to analyze their effects on food intake in chicks. Intracerebroventricular injection (2. μmol) of l-ornithine, but not l-arginine, significantly inhibited food intake in neonatal chicks. In Experiment 3, we found that central injection of l-ornithine (2, 4, and 6. μmol) dose-dependently suppressed food intake in chicks. These results suggested that l-ornithine may have an important role in the control of food intake as an acute satiety signal in the neonatal chick brain.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience