Substance P is associated with hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus activation that coincides with increased urotensin 2 mRNA in chicks.

PMID 25005752


Exogenous administration of substance P (SP) exerts anorexigenic effects in both chicks and rats, but the central mechanism mediating this response is poorly understood. Therefore, this study was designed to elucidate mechanisms of SP-induced anorexia using chicks as models. Chicks that received intracerebroventricular (ICV) injections of SP dose-dependably reduced their food intake with no effect on water intake. Next, the diencephalon was isolated from SP-injected chicks and mRNA expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY), corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), urocortin 3 (UCN 3) and CRF receptors were measured but were not affected. When measured in the hypothalamus, mRNA abundance of these and NPY receptors, urotensin 2 (UTS2) and melanocortin receptor 4 (MCR4) were not affected by SP-injection. Quantification of c-Fos immunoreactivity in appetite-associated hypothalamic nuclei demonstrated that the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) was activated in SP-injected chicks. Finally, in the PVN isolated from SP-injected chicks, there was increased expression of UTS2 mRNA while CRF and UCN3 were not affected. Thus, the anorexigenic effects of SP appear to be mediated by PVN activation and may involve UTS2.