Intracerebroventricular injection of phoenixin alters feeding behavior and activates nesfatin-1 immunoreactive neurons in rats.


Charité Center for Internal Medicine and Dermatology, Department for Psychosomatic Medicine, Charite - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany; Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


Phoenixin is a novel neuropeptide initially associated with reproductive functions, but subsequently also with feeding behavior. Nesfatin-1 is also involved in the regulation of food intake and has been shown to largely colocalize with phoenixin in the rat brain; however, a functional link is missing so far. The current study investigated whether phoenixin activates nesfatin-1 immunoreactive nuclei in the rat brain. Male Sprague Dawley rats chronically equipped with an intracerebroventricular cannula were injected with vehicle (5 µl ddH2O) or phoenixin (1.7 nmol in 5 µl ddH2O, n = 5-6 group). Behavior was assessed manually and c-Fos as well as nesfatin-1 immunoreactivity using immunohistochemistry. Phoenixin significantly increased feeding and drinking behavior as well as locomotor activity compared to vehicle (p < 0.01). Moreover, phoenixin injected intracerebroventricularly (icv) activated several nuclei throughout the rat brain as assessed using c-Fos; the number of c-Fos/nesfatin-1 immunoreactive neurons was increased in the lateral septal nucleus (4-fold), supraoptic nucleus (107-fold), paraventricular nucleus (6-fold) and the nucleus of the solitary tract (18-fold) compared to vehicle (p < 0.05). In summary, phoenixin activates several nesfatin-1 immunoreactive nuclei in the rat brain. This activation may play a role in the modulation of food intake.



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