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Physiol Behav. 1999 Apr;66(2):255-61.

Role of the ventromedial hypothalamus in prolactin-induced hyperphagia in ring doves.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 53201, USA. buntin@uwm.edu

Abstract

Prolactin (PRL) strongly stimulates feeding activity and body weight gain in ring doves, and of the brain loci tested to date, the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) is the most effective site of PRL action in promoting these changes. To determine if the VMH is essential for this response, we examined the effects of VMN destruction on spontaneous feeding and on changes in food intake induced by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of PRL. Male birds were selectively destroyed by radiofrequency lesions (n = 6). A group of sham-lesioned males (n = 6) served as controls. Lesioned birds exhibited a transient increase in food intake that peaked around the seventh postoperative day and declined to baseline levels by day 12. In contrast to this pattern, body weights of lesioned birds increased in parallel with food intake, but remained elevated throughout the 3-week postoperative period. During the peak period of hyperphagia in the lesioned group, food intake and body weight increases were two to three times greater in lesioned birds than in controls. After postoperative feed intake had stabilized, each bird received 5 daily i.c.v. injections of ovine PRL. Food intake and body weight increased dramatically in both groups in response to PRL treatment, and no group differences were observed in response to magnitude. We conclude that VMH destruction strongly perturbs feeding and body weight regulation in doves. However, VMH integrity is not essential for the expression of PRL-induced hyperphagia.

PMID:
10336151
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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