Octopamine, known to be an important neurotransmitter in invertebrates, has been noted to have several similarities to noradrenaline (NA) in mammals. The present study was done to elucidate whether central injection of octopamine enhances the feeding behavior of chicks and to investigate the interaction of octopamine with both α1- and α2-adorenoceptors. We found that the intracerebroventricular injection of octopamine significantly stimulated food intake of neonatal chicks during 30 min postinjection, but not thereafter. Moreover, this octopamine-induced eating response was attenuated by the α2-antagonist yohimbine, but not by the α1-antagonist prazosin. These results suggest that the action of octopamine on the feeding behavior of the neonatal chick is similar to that of NA, since octopamine regulates food intake through the α2-adorenoceptor.
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