Nesfatin-1 induces Fos expression and elicits dipsogenic responses in subfornical organ

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Nesfatin-1 (Nes-1), an 82-amino acid protein cleaved from nucleobindin-2, has been suggested to play a role in ingestive behaviors. Intracerebroventricular (icv) injections of Nes-1 reduce water intake, although the sites of action for this effect are not known. Two series of experiments were done to identify potential sites of action of Nes-1 in drinking behavior. In the first series, icv injections of Nes-1 were made in urethane-anesthetized rats to investigate the distribution of neurons containing Fos-like immunoreactivity (Fos-ir) within the forebrain. Circumventricular organs, including subfornical organ (SFO), were found to contain neurons expressing Fos-ir. Additionally, several hypothalamic, thalamic and limbic nuclei also contained Fos-labeled neurons. As SFO is a pivotal central site in the regulation of water intake, a second series of experiments was done to investigate the role of direct injections of Nes-1 into SFO on water intake in conscious, freely moving rats. Nes-1 (2 pmol) injections into SFO induced an increase in water intake compared to vehicle injections. However, when food was made available for ingestion after the Nes-1 injection, the dipsogenic effects of Nes-1 were attenuated. Additionally, the drinking response to Nes-1 was found to be more potent than that observed after injections of ANG II into SFO. Neither simultaneous injections ANG II nor the ANG II type-1 receptor blocker losartan affected the Nes-1 dipsogenic response. Taken together, these results suggest that Nes-1 is a potent dipsogenic agent in SFO, and that Nes-1 may act independently of the SFO angiotensinergic system to elicit the dipsogenic effect.

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