Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), urocortin and urotensin I share amino acid sequences, and they inhibit food intake in mammals. CRF plays a potent role in decreasing food intake in avian species, but the effects of urocortin and urotensin I have not been investigated. Therefore, the effect of these three peptides on food intake in the neonatal chick was compared. In Experiment 1, birds were injected intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) with either 0, 0.01, 0.1 or 1 μg of urocortin following a 3-h fast, and food intake was measured for 2 h post-injection. Food intake was suppressed in a dose-dependent manner. Using a similar design in Experiment 2, the effect of urotensin I was investigated. Urotensin I appeared to suppress food intake in neonatal chicks more than urocortin did. In Experiment 3, the efficacy of CRF, urocortin and urotensin I was directly compared using one dose, 0.1 μg. The results indicated that the suppressive effect on food intake was strongest for CRF followed by urotensin I, then urocortin. These results suggest that the structure of receptors for the CRF family in chicks may be somewhat different than in mammals.
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