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Neuroendocrinology. 2001 Apr;73(4):248-60.

Appetite-suppressing effects of urotensin I and corticotropin-releasing hormone in goldfish (Carassius auratus).

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Fish urotensin I (UI), a member of the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) family of peptides, is a potent inhibitor of food intake in mammals, yet the role of UI in the control of food intake in fish is not known. Therefore, to determine the acute effects of UI on appetite relative to those of CRH, goldfish were given intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of carp/goldfish UI and rat/human CRH (0.2-200 ng/g) and food intake was assessed for a 2-hour period after the injection. UI and CRH both suppressed food intake in a dose-related manner and UI (ED50 = 3.8 ng/g) was significantly more potent than CRH (ED50 = 43.1 ng/g). Pretreatment with the CRH receptor antagonist, alpha-helical CRH(9-41), reversed the reduction in food intake induced by i.c.v. UI and CRH. To assess whether endogenous UI and CRH modulate fish appetite, goldfish were given intraperitoneal implants of the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist, RU-486 (50 and 100 microg/g), or the cortisol synthesis inhibitor, metyrapone (100 and 200 microg/g), and food intake was monitored over the following 72 h. Fish treated with either RU-486 or metyrapone were characterized by a sustained and dose-dependent reduction in food intake. Pretreatment with i.c.v. implants of alpha-helical CRH(9-41) partially reversed the appetite-suppressing effects of RU-486 and metyrapone. In a parallel experiment, the effects of RU-486 (100 microg/g) and metyrapone (200 microg/g) intraperitoneal implants on brain UI and CRH gene expression were assessed. Relative to sham-implanted controls, fish treated with RU-486 or metyrapone had elevated UI mRNA levels in the hypothalamus and CRH mRNA levels in the telencephalon-preoptic brain region. Together, these results suggest that UI is a potent anorectic peptide in the brain of goldfish and that endogenous CRH-related peptides can play a physiological role in the control of fish appetite.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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