Apelin is a peptide, mainly produced in the brain, which participates in several physiologic effects. However, knowledge about the mechanism of appetite regulation in teleosts, including the role of apelin is not well understood. The aim of this study is to explore the effect of feeding status on the expression of apelin mRNA in the whole brain and the effects of injection of apelin on food intake in Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii). In this study, we first cloned the apelin cDNA sequence of the Siberian sturgeon. We obtained a 1046-bp cDNA fragment, including a 237-bp open reading frame (ORF) that encoded 78 amino acids. Apelin was widely distributed in 11 tissues related to feeding regulation, with the highest expression in thewhole brain, followed by the spleen and trunk kidney. In addition, we measured the effects of periprandial (preprandial and postprandial) change, fasting and re-feeding on apelin mRNA expression in whole brain. The level of apelin mRNA was significantly decreased 1 h after feeding. The results of the fasting experiment showed that the expression of apelin mRNA in the brain was significantly reduced after 1 day of fasting but consistently increased throughout the 15-day food deprivation period. When the 15-day fasted fish were re-fed, apelin mRNA expression in the brain was significantly increased as compared to that of the control. These results suggest that apelin may play a bidirectional role in the regulation of food intake in the Siberian sturgeon. In order to further examine the effect of apelin on feeding regulation in Siberian sturgeons, acute and chronic intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection experiments were performed and food intakes were recorded. Results showed that acute i.p. injection of apelin-13 reduced food intake, however, chronic i.p. injection apelin-13 increased the food intake for 7 days in Siberian sturgeons. In conclusion, our results show that apelin has a bidirectional effect on feeding regulation in Siberian sturgeons by acting as a satiety factor in short-term feeding regulation and a starvation factor in long-term feeding regulation.