Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Surg. 1995 May;221(5):579-87; discussion 587-9.

Neuropeptide Y and the development of cancer anorexia.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Ohio, USA.



The authors determined whether radioligand binding of neuropeptide Y (NPY) to hypothalamus taken from nonanorectic and anorectic tumor-bearing rats was altered as compared with similar tissue taken from freely-feeding and food-restricted control rats.


Previous results indicate that tumor-bearing rats exhibit a refractory feeding response to NPY, the most potent feeding stimulus known. Additional studies indicate that the concentration of NPY in the hypothalamus of anorectic tumor-bearing rats is decreased as compared with freely-feeding or food-restricted control rats.


Because these observations of decreased response to exogenous peptide in the presence of decreased endogenous levels suggest an alteration in hypothalamic NPY receptors, this study investigated binding of 125I-NPY to hypothalamic membranes of tumor-bearing and control rats.


Determinations of receptor affinity for NPY (half maximal concentration for displacement) indicated a 20-fold decrease in affinity with the development of anorexia, which changed to an 80-fold decrease during severe anorexia. Receptor density, as indicated by specific binding, exhibited only a 30% decrease, even during severe anorexia.


These results suggest major alterations in NPY receptor mechanisms in experimental cancer anorexia, with receptor affinity being decreased progressively as the rats become more anorectic. The absence of a compensatory up-regulation in receptor density in the presence of decreased endogenous NPY concentrations indicate dysfunction in receptor regulatory mechanisms. This receptor aberration may be the central nervous system basis for the etiology of cancer anorexia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk