Hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) is primarily expressed in the arcuate nucleus (Arc) and the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). Although Arc NPY gene expression is responsive to circulating leptin, the regulation of DMH NPY expression is leptin-independent. DMH NPY expression is increased in response to chronic food restriction, but not acute food deprivation. DMH NPY expression is elevated in pair-fed OLETF rats lacking cholecystokinin (CCK)-1 receptors. A role for CCK in controlling DMH NPY expression is demonstrated by the down-regulation of DMH NPY by parenchymal DMH CCK administration in intact rats. Moreover, access to running wheels normalizes body weight and prevents altered DMH NPY expression of OLETF rats. Together, these data suggest that DMH NPY plays an important role in feeding and body weight control.