Serotonin mediated changes in corticotropin releasing factor mRNA expression and feeding behavior isolated to the hypothalamic paraventricular nuclei
Fenfluramine reduces hunger and promotes body weight loss by increasing central serotonin (5-HT) signaling. More recently, neuropeptides have been linked to the regulation of feeding behavior, metabolism and body weight. To examine possible interactions between 5-HT and neuropeptides in appetite control, fenfluramine (200 nmol/0.5 μl/side) was administered directly into the hypothalamic paraventricular nuclei (PVN) of male rats. Bilateral fenfluramine produced significant hypophagia and increased expression of PVN corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) mRNA and neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA in the arcuate nucleus within the first hour after drug administration. Fenfluramine's effects on feeding behavior and mRNA expression were blocked by PVN injections of a 5-HT1–2 receptor antagonist, metergoline (15 nmol/0.5 μl/side). These data suggest that 5-HT neurons targeting hypothalamic paraventricular CRF neurons may participate in an appetite control circuit for reducing food intake.