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      Appetite-Suppressing Effects of Urotensin I and Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone in Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

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          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 (ED<sub>50</sub> = 3.8 ng/g) was significantly more potent than CRH (ED<sub>50</sub> = 43.1 ng/g). Pretreatment with the CRH receptor antagonist, α-helical CRH<sub>(9–41)</sub>, 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 µg/g), or the cortisol synthesis inhibitor, metyrapone (100 and 200 µg/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 α-helical CRH<sub>(9–41)</sub> partially reversed the appetite-suppressing effects of RU-486 and metyrapone. In a parallel experiment, the effects of RU-486 (100 µg/g) and metyrapone (200 µg/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.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Urocortin, a mammalian neuropeptide related to fish urotensin I and to corticotropin-releasing factor.

          Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a peptide first isolated from mammalian brain, is critical in the regulation of the pituitary-adrenal axis, and in complementary stress-related endocrine, autonomic and behavioural responses. Fish urotensin I and amphibian sauvagine were considered to be homologues of CRF until peptides even more closely related to CRF were identified in these same vertebrate classes. We have characterized another mammalian member of the CRF family and have localized its urotensin-like immunoreactivity to, and cloned related complementary DNAs from, a discrete rat midbrain region. The deduced protein encodes a peptide that we name urocortin, which is related to urotensin (63% sequence identity) and CRF (45% sequence identity). Synthetic urocortin evokes secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) both in vitro and in vivo and binds and activates transfected type-1 CRF receptors, the subtype expressed by pituitary corticotropes. The coincidence of urotensin-like immunoreactivity with type-2 CRF receptors in brain, and our observation that urocortin is more potent than CRF at binding and activating type-2 CRF receptors, as well as at inducing c-Fos (an index of cellular activation) in regions enriched in type-2 CRF receptors, indicate that this new peptide could be an endogenous ligand for type-2 CRF receptors.
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            Intraventricular corticotropin-releasing factor enhances behavioral effects of novelty.

            Corticotropin-releasing factor was administered into the lateral cerebral ventricles of rats. Sixty minutes later, animals were tested in an open field conflict test or in their home cages for a variety of behaviors which have been shown to be related to the degree of responsiveness to novelty. CRF, in a dose related fashion, altered the frequency of those behaviors which are normally expressed in response to the novel environment. Specifically, CRF caused an increase in grooming and decreases in the amount of rearing, the number of approaches to a food pellet placed in the center of the open field, the amount of food eaten in both the open field and the home cage and a decrease in the mean amount of food eaten per approach to the food pedestal.
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              Seminars in medicine of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Neuroendocrine responses to starvation and weight loss.


                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                April 2001
                24 April 2001
                : 73
                : 4
                : 248-260
                Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
                54642 Neuroendocrinology 2001;73:248–260
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 9, References: 62, Pages: 13
                Hormones and Behaviour


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