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Regul Pept. 1998 Sep 25;75-76:327-34.

Intraventricular injection of neuropeptide Y antisera curbs weight gain and feeding, and increases the display of sexual behaviors in obese Zucker female rats.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara 93106-9660, USA.


Obese Zucker rats are hyperphagic, overweight, and infertile. It has been postulated that neuropeptide Y (NPY) overproduction may contribute to obesity and infertility in these animals. To test this hypothesis, ovariectomized, adult obese Zucker rats were implanted with cannulae in the third ventricle and subsequently injected with NPY antisera or normal rabbit sera (NRS) 6, 4 and 2 h before experimental observation. Steroid-treated females injected with NPY antisera were significantly more receptive and were more likely to show proceptive behaviors than after treatment with NRS (e.g., lordosis quotient: NPY antisera, 65.5+/-6.9%; NRS, 30.9+/-11.6%, P < 0.02; 91% displaying proceptivity after NPY antisera injection vs. 36% after NRS, P < 0.03). Injection of NPY antisera also curbed food intake and weight gain (24 h food intake: NPY antisera, 10.5+/-2.1 g; NRS, 20.5+/-1.7 g, P < 0.01; 24 h weight gain: NPY antisera, -5.4+/-2.2 g; NRS, 5.8+/-0.7 g, P < 0.01). Locomotor activity was similar after NRS and NPY antisera treatment (P > 0.5) suggesting that general malaise was not responsible for the effects of NPY antisera on food intake or body weight. These data suggest that endogenous neuropeptide Y contributes to excessive feeding and weight gain, and suppressed reproductive behaviors in obese Zucker female rats.

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