Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Evidence that hypothalamic neurotensin signals leptin effects on feeding behavior in normal and fat-preferring rats.

PMID 9837758


Leptin inhibits food intake when it is injected in the periphery or in the central nervous system. It is likely that its action is not only mediated by the inhibition of orexigenic peptides such as neuropeptide Y. Therefore, we characterized the pharmacological and physiological relationships of leptin with neurotensin (NT), a central feeding inhibitor. Firstly, we investigated the central interactions of leptin and NT. Intracerebro-ventricular (ICV) injection were done in normal Long-Evans rats. NT had a short lasting (30 minutes; p<0.01) inhibitory effect on spontaneous food intake measured at the beginning of the dark phase whereas the effect of ICV leptin was observed after 24 hours (p<0.001). Co-injection with leptin potentiated NT effect at 30 minutes (p<0. 001) and prolonged it for 30 additional minutes (p<0.01). In addition, NT potentiated the effect of leptin at 30 and 60 minutes (p<0.02 and p<0.001 respectively) but not at 24 hours. Secondly, we observed that NT concentrations were augmented in selective brain areas in fat-preferring rats (+ 34% for hypothalamic NT; p<0.03). This increase was observed in the parvocellular part of the paraventricular nucleus (PVNp) only and was associated with an increase in circulating leptin levels (+ 75%; p<0.003). Interestingly, plasma leptin and NT in the PVNp were strongly correlated (r=0.57; p<0.003), suggesting changes of NT processing or release in this nucleus. These results strongly suggest that the short-term anorexigenic effects of leptin in normal rats are at least partly mediated by changes in NT processing or release. They also suggest that these processes take place in the hypothalamus, most probably in the PVNp and that they might be sensitive to fat ingestion. Therefore, the neurotensin increase observed in fat-preferring rats would limit the overconsumption of energy, a physiological mechanism translated by leptin.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

Neurotensin, ≥90% (HPLC)