Intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide-38 (PACAP) or vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) inhibits feeding in chicks. However, the underlying anorexigenic mechanism(s) has not yet been investigated. The present study investigated whether these peptides influence the activity of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) neural pathways in the brain of chicks. Firstly, we found that ICV injections of PACAP and VIP increased plasma corticosterone concentrations. The corticosterone- releasing effect of PACAP was completely attenuated by co-injection of astressin, a CRF receptor antagonist, but this effect was only partial for VIP. These results demonstrated that CRF neurons mediate the actions of PACAP and, to a lesser extent, VIP, and suggest that the signaling mechanisms differ between the two peptides. This difference may arise from the two peptides interacting with different receptors because the corticosterone-releasing effect of PACAP, but not VIP, was completely attenuated by co-injection of PACAP (6-38), a PACAP receptor antagonist. Finally, we examined the effect of ICV co-injection of astressin on the anorexigenic effects of PACAP and VIP and found that the effects of both peptides were attenuated by astressin. Overall, the present study suggests that the anorexigenic effects of PACAP and VIP are mediated by the activation of CRF neurons.
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