Neuropeptide S (NPS), a 20-amino acid neuropeptide, is produced in the brain and is associated with appetite suppression. Our group was the first to report this anorexigenic effect in birds using chicken as a model, although a hypothalamic molecular mechanism remains to be elucidated. Thus, we designed the present study using Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). In Experiment 1, quail intracerebroventricularly injected with NPS reduced both food and water intake. In Experiment 2, food-restricted quail injected with NPS displayed a reduction in water intake. In Experiment 3, NPS-injected quail reduced their feeding and exploratory pecks. In Experiment 4, we quantified the number of cells expressing the early intermediate gene product c-Fos (as a marker of neuronal activation) in appetite associated hypothalamic nuclei and found that immunoreactivity was increased in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN). In Experiment 5, we utilized real-time PCR to screen for neuropeptide changes within the PVN of NPS-injected quail. Mesotocin and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNAs increased in response to NPS injection. In Experiment 6, co-injection of astressin, a CRF receptor antagonist, was sufficient to block the food intake-suppressive effects of NPS, but in Experiment 7, co-injection of an oxytocin receptor antagonist was not sufficient to block the food intake-suppressive effects of NPS. Collectively, results support that NPS induces an anorexigenic response in Japanese quail that is mediated within the PVN and is associated with CRF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology