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Endocrinology. 2006 Jul;147(7):3510-8. Epub 2006 Mar 30.

Neuropeptide S stimulates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and inhibits food intake.

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Department of Metabolic Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, 6th Floor Commonwealth Building, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom.


Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a recently discovered peptide shown to be involved in the modulation of arousal and fear responses. It has also been shown that lateral ventricle administration of NPS causes a significant decrease in food intake. Neuropeptides involved in the modulation of arousal have been shown to be involved in the regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and food intake. In this study, we have examined the effect of intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of NPS on behavior, regulation of the HPA axis, and food intake. ICV NPS significantly increased plasma ACTH and corticosterone 10 and 40 min after injection, respectively. A single ICV injection of NPS caused a significant increase in rearing activity as well as ambulatory movement for up to 45 min after injection. We then studied the effect of paraventricular nucleus (PVN) administration of NPS on the regulation of the HPA axis, behavior, and food intake. There was a significant increase in plasma ACTH and corticosterone after a single NPS PVN injection. Incubation of hypothalamic explants with increasing concentrations of NPS caused a significant increase in CRH and arginine vasopressin release. In addition, PVN administration of NPS dose-dependently inhibited food intake in the first hour after injection, although no effect on food intake was seen after this time. PVN administration of NPS caused a significant increase in rearing activity. These data demonstrate a novel role for NPS in the stimulation of the HPA axis.

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