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Brain Res. 2000 Mar 31;860(1-2):1-10.

Brain regions where cholecystokinin suppresses feeding in rats.

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  • 1Veterans Administration Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.


The gut-brain peptide, cholecystokinin (CCK), inhibits food intake when injected either systemically or within the brain. To determine whether CCK's effect in the brain is anatomically specific, CCK-8 (0. 8, 4, 20, 100, 500 pmol) was microinjected into one of 14 different brain sites of rats, and its impact on subsequent food intake was measured. CCK-8 at 500 pmol significantly suppressed intake during the first hour post-injection following administration into six hypothalamic sites (anterior hypothalamus, dorsomedial hypothalamus, lateral hypothalamus, paraventricular nucleus, supraoptic nucleus, ventromedial hypothalamus) and two hindbrain sites (nucleus tractus solitarius, fourth ventricle). Although lower doses were sometimes effective (anterior hypothalamus, dorsomedial hypothalamus, nucleus tractus solitarius), there appeared to be no significant difference in potency among sites. Injections into the medial amygdala, nucleus accumbens, posterior hypothalamus, dorsal raphe, and ventral tegmental area were either ineffective or produced a delayed response. The higher doses required for most sites, as well as the widespread effectiveness of CCK-8 within the hypothalamus, suggest that spread of CCK-8 to adjacent brain sites, and (or) to the periphery, may have been required for anorexia to occur. Findings reported in an accompanying paper provide strong evidence that paraventricular nucleus injection of CCK-8 (500 pmol) did not increase plasma CCK-levels sufficiently to suppress feeding by a peripheral mechanism. Together, these results suggest that CCK may be acting as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator within two different brain regions to produce satiety - one region which includes the nucleus tractus solitarius in the hindbrain, and another more distributed region within the medial-basal hypothalamus.

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