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J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2016 Jul-Sep;30(3):883-888.

Central apelin-13 administration modulates hypothalamic control of feeding.

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Department of Pharmacy, “G. d’Annunzio” University, Chieti, Italy.


The 77 amino prepropeptide apelin has been isolated from bovine stomach tissue and several smaller fragments, including apelin-13, showed high affinity for the orphan APJ receptor. The distribution of apelinergic fibers and receptors in the hypothalamus may suggest a role of apelin-13 on energy balance regulation, albeit the studies reporting the acute effects of apelin on feeding control are inconsistent. Considering the possible involvement of apelinergic system on hypothalamic appetite controlling network, in the present study we evaluated in the rat the effects of intrahypothalamic apelin-13 injection on food intake and the involvement of orexigenic and anorexigenic hypothalamic peptides and neurotransmitters. Eighteen rats (6 for each group of treatment) were injected into the ARC with either vehicle or apelin-13 (1-2 μg/rat). Food intake and hypothalamic peptide and neurotransmitter levels were evaluated 2 and 24 h after injection. Compared to vehicle, apelin-13 administration increased food intake both 2 and 24 h following treatment. This effect could be related to inhibited cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) gene expression and serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) synthesis and release, and increased orexin A gene expression in the hypothalamus.

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